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International May 12th Awareness Day

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International May 12th Awareness Day
Official nameInternational May 12th Awareness Day
Also calledME/CFS Awareness Day, International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Day
Observed byAustralia, Canada, UK, United States and others
Liturgical Colorblue, purple, green
SignificanceAwareness of Chronic Immunological Neurological Diseases including ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, Gulf War syndrome, Addison's disease, Lyme disease, autism and others
Date12 May
Next time12 May 2021 (2021-05-12)
First time1993
Started byTom Hennessy
Related toSevere ME Day (August 6th), ME/CFS Awareness Month (May), ME/CFS Awareness Week (second week of May)

International May 12th Awareness Day, also known as International ME/CFS Awareness Day is held every year to raise awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Gulf War Syndrome and other Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases.[1][2]

International May 12th Awareness Day aims to:

  • Increase public awareness of the importance of ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, Gulf War syndrome and other Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND)
  • Educate about the symptoms and impact of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other CINDs
  • Advocate for increased research funding, particularly for ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia
  • Many fundraising events take place on May 12th

International May 12th Awareness Day Intro articles: 3


The main illnesses involved in International May 12th Awareness Day are ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, and Gulf War syndrome.[3]


International May 12th Awareness Day is observed by dying hair blue or dressing up in blue.[4] Since 2016, the #MillionsMissing protests for ME/CFS have taken place every May, with the main event held on May 12th.[5] Film screenings are usually held for films about ME/CFS, including Voices from the Shadows, Forgotten Plague, or Unrest.[6][7] Public landmarks are lit up in color for International May 12th Awareness Day, typically using blue for ME and purple for fibromyalgia.[8][9]

Overview of "Unrest (2017 film)" article


International May 12th Awareness Day was founded in 1993 by the Canadian non-profit Action CIND. It has been observed internationally every year since. In 2006 a British charity later created Severe ME Awareness Day on August 8th as a day of remembrance and understanding for those who died from or with ME.[10] August 8th was chosen because it is the birthday of Sophia Mirza, who was believed to be the first British person to have chronic fatigue syndrome listed as a cause of death.[11]

Overview of "Sophia Mirza" article

Related observances

  • 5/1 – 5/31: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Awareness Month
  • 5/1 – 5/31: Fibromyalgia Awareness Month
  • 5/1 - 5/31: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month[12]
  • 5/1 – 5/31: Lupus Awareness Month
  • 5/1 – 5/31: Lyme Disease Awareness Month
  • Week of 12th May: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Awareness Week
  • 8/8: Severe ME Awareness Day

See also


  1. ^ "ME/CFS Awareness Day". CDC. 3 Jun 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Calendar - Health Promotion Days". canada.ca. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  3. ^ Rios, Puja (2017-05-11). "25 Facts for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  4. ^ "May 12 is ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia International Awareness Day". National Institutes of Health (NIH). 2017-05-12. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  5. ^ Ludlam, Scott (2018-05-11). "To the #MillionsMissing with ME/CFS, something remarkable is happening | Scott Ludlam". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  6. ^ Rush, Andy (2018-05-10). "MP Nicky Morgan to raise awareness of ME illness". loughborough. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  7. ^ "Award winning documentary film about M.E. to be shown at Penarth Pier Pavilion". Penarth Times. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  8. ^ Lee, Jenny (2018-05-02). "Hope for ME: Co Down woman's campaign for the thousands living with chronic fatigue syndrome". The Irish News. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  9. ^ "Griffith Health turns purple and blue". news.griffith.edu.au. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  10. ^ Connolly-Forster, Ethan (2020-05-24). "Severely ill singer 'overwhelmed' by album support". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  11. ^ Prior, Ryan. "Millions suffer from an invisible disease: My ME/CFS story". CNN. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  12. ^ Floyd, Patricia A.; Mimms, Sandra E.; Yelding, Caroline (2007-06-25). Personal Health: Perspectives and Lifestyles. Cengage Learning. p. 528. ISBN 978-1-111-79891-8.

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