Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
Bio: Co-Founder of the National Fibromyalgia Assn.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)
DRUGS I AM TAKING:
Karen Lee Richards has not shared any drug information.
Karen Lee Richards’ career as a writer and patient advocate grew out of her determination to learn more about her own illnesses. Karen first became ill in 1989, but it would be seven more years before she finally received an accurate diagnosis. As she began to talk with other fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (aka myalgic encephalomyelitis) patients, Karen discovered that her experience was not unusual. At that time it was taking an average of approximately five to seven years for someone to be diagnosed with one of these illnesses. Understanding the frustration, fear and anguish patients go through during those years of not knowing what is wrong with them, Karen decided to do whatever she could to raise awareness about FM and ME/CFS.
In 1997, Karen met another FM patient – Lynne Matallana. Together they founded the nonprofit organization now known as the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA). For the next eight years, Karen served as NFA’s vice president. The NFA launched the magazine Fibromyalgia AWARE, in 2002. This was the very first full-color, glossy magazine devoted to FM and other invisible illnesses. Karen was executive editor of Fibromyalgia AWARE for four years.
Early in 2006 Karen became the About.com Guide to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She remained there for a year before joining HealthCentral as part of the ChronicPainConnection team.
If I could give newly diagnosed patients just one piece of advice, it would be to take charge of your own healthcare. But before you can take charge, you need to learn everything you can about your illness. My goal is to help you do that by providing you with the most accurate and up-to-date information available and equipping you with the tools you need to manage your illness.