Together, We Can!

May 2, 2007 — The Albany, NY, Fibromyalgia Support Group, in collaboration with the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc., will hold its First Annual Fibromyalgia Conference on May 12, 2007. Details can be found on the Institute website at

If this seems like a novel partnership, let me explain. As Executive Director of the Institute, and newly diagnosed with Fibro about 3 years ago, I followed my physician’s advice to attend this support group. What a difference it has made in my life! Agnes Welch, Founder, has led the support group at St. Peter’s Hospital for 25 years. Through attendance feast, and famine, she has never wavered. What devotion to a cause! And how many lives have been enriched as a result. Betsy Shearer, her Co-Leader, brings prior training and experience as well as personal trials, and allows her empathy and humor to expand our understanding. Whether we have a speaker, or simply share successes and challenges, I leave each meeting with more coping strategies, as well as a deeper commitment to helping others.

So, it wasn’t such a leap when Agnes was overheard saying she’d like to do a program with presenters from a variety of specialties to bring options, and hope, to the Fibro-Family in the Capital District of New York.

Immediately upon hearing Agnes’ wish, we agreed to put on a Conference. Our planning committee of four people, including Wendell Harris, LMT, contacted physicians, therapists, as well as newscasters, and others with whom we had networked over the years. Within a few days, we had the date, location, and initial presenters. Perhaps success breeds success, or at least energizes the energy-deprived, because our enthusiasm must have been contagious. Before long we had physicians, therapists, authors, and others eager to donate time on a Saturday in May. One very talented physician even thanked Agnes for allowing him to be involved! We are still in awe of the wonderful outpouring from these healers who truly care.

We’re enthusiastic, dedicated, and grateful, but mostly in awe of what has been accomplished so far. And, of course, we feel that if we can do it, you and everyone else can, too!

It’s time that we, all of us, spoke up for the Fibro-Family! It’s time the public became aware, the medical community responsive, and the researchers fully funded to develop a cure. It’s time! Let’s not let another minute go by without resolving to help put an end to this suffering.

Perhaps I’m only a cockeyed optimist. After all, who else would lead a not-for-profit empowerment organization! But, in my heart, I truly believe, that Together, We Can!

Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D., Executive Director
International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
This article appeared in the FMAware April 2007 E-mail newsletter.

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