Mr. Al Franken
c/o Delacorte Press
New York, NY 10036
Dear Mr. Franken,
I was dismayed to recently learn that you have been using Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to generate laughter. While humor is vital to understanding and to healing, the illness called "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" has suffered by having a name that leads to misunderstanding. I would ask you not to add to the misconception of the public by a further inappropriate portrayal of the illness.
I became ill in 1986, and have spent much time, energy and money trying to become well again. I can only hope that it one day does becomes, as you claim, "100% curable." If you know the cure, I and well over 500,000 people would love to know about it!! Also, I have had to fight the misunderstanding of family, friends and coworkers who do not understand the nature of the illness, but believe they do because of its unfortunate name. As one doctor pointed out, the name of our illness is similar to Diabetes being named "Chronic Thirst Syndrome." Just imagine how much hilarity would have been caused by that name for such a life and life-style threatening illness. So it is with CFS.
Someone of your fame and reach is in a position to do a great deal of good or a great deal of harm to those included in your humor. Please meet folks with CFS and get to know what the real nature of this illness is and the devastating consequences to the lives of the sufferers. It is not depression, and certainly no one would chose to have the bewildering and often painful array of problems that last for most times years upon frustrating years "just to take a day off of work." Give me a break!! I urge you to go to a support group meeting, or visit the North Carolina based CFIDS Association and learn what you could be talking about. We all would be so grateful.
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