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38 Reviews
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June 14, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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June 14, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I have been ill with ME/CFS for 26 years. During that time, the CFIDS Association has always been there for me - first with information I needed to cope and now, doing innovative research and linking researchers. I am so impressed with how they have developed and so hopeful as a result of the current research approach. Thank you CFIDS Association!

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Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 7, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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June 7, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

The CFIDS Association is the leading non-profit research group working on ME/CFS. It has funded more ME/CFS biomedical research than any entity besides the federal government. It's last round of grants secured a 7 to 1 return on donations in federal grant money. It has funded most major research groups and many of the breakthroughs in biomedical research on this illness. The staff has knowledge and experience, and is now leading the way in research innovation.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the results of their funded research. Understanding the rigor of their grant funding process.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

I have ME/CFS.

What would you tell others about this organization?

It is the organization best positioned to have real impact on discovery of biomarkers and treatments.

May 17, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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May 17, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

The CFIDS Association of America (CAA) is, without a doubt, the leading advocate for ME/CFS research in the world, and the folks who work for the Association work tirelessly at fighting for patients, campaigning for research projects, and providing helpful treatment and management tips for patients. It is the longest-serving advocacy group for CFS patients, and its track record is undeniable. The Association's leadership is unmatched, and I challenge anyone who disagrees to try to build the rock-solid foundation upon which the CAA stands. The Association has been successful in funding important and dynamic research projects which will undoubtedly lead someday to a complete public understanding of CFS and at least a reliable treatment plan. Its commitment to research is one of its best qualities, and the CAA has done very well to reach out to some of the best medical and scientific minds working on the ME/CFS case. It is also a poverty that so many reviewers feel that they have been brushed aside by the Association. They are the leading advocate for CFS patients, and the CEO works 50-60 hour weeks to make sure progress is made on all fronts in the fight against CFS. With countless newsletters and sources of information for those who are interested in or suffering from CFS, the CAA has done an outstanding job of keeping its supporters filled in on where donations are going and informing them about what the medical community is saying about the disease. It is understandable that so many people are upset that their lives have been turned upside-down by ME/CFS, but with the Association’s mission to use science and research as the main weapons against the disease, there will be progress. Libels and slanders against the Association does nothing except weaken the cause for which the CAA fights, and it’s the same cause that everyone who has experienced the quiet destruction of chronic fatigue fights for: eliminating CFS.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 5, 2011
4 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
October 5, 2011
4 people found this review helpful

I began 5 years ago with this debilitating illness looking for help to understand what I was experiencing. No physician will help or even acknowledge the Name of my demise. CAA was front and center with information on their website, I began to follow. Over the 5 years, my health is worse, I can no longer work, and I can see that this organization is more about gaining funding to keep their jobs, and be the beloved puppy for the CDC & CFSAC Committee. CAA is more about carrying out the mission of denial, disgrace & destruction toward those who are out in the field trying to find the bio-markers, diagnostic tests & any hope of medication or treatment. I seriously don't see they are interested in advocating for the needs of people with this debilitating illness. They don't even have enough respect to change their name to acknowledge Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) which is the real deal here. They seem to be more of an attack dog for the CDC to sabotage progress. My intuition is rarely wrong, and I have been unable to accept any information that comes from the CFSIDS Assoc. as legitimate progressive support for a growing, yet rapidly tragic future of recovery.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When at the NIH State of the Knowledge Workshop last April, 2011. I happened to sit next to CEO Kim McCleary that day. In making light conversation during a break,she was dismissive and arrogant. I knew, she wasn't interested in any feedback I could offer of the presentations we had just heard. I felt I was not the person she was representing as CEO of a Patient Advocacy Group. When she gave her presentation, it was clear who she is working for by the comments she made pandering to those who send her $$$.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

1)Get the name right, its ME, as in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis! For an advocacy group you are 30 years behind. 2)Reorganize with more funding directed to Patient Needs than CEO Salaries and marketing to discredit their perceived competitors, those researchers "who are trying" to discover the real medical findings to get us back to work. 3)if you are going to stroke the CDC , at least show that you have made a difference in actual progress toward more than having an insider seat & a voice at a meeting.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A little

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

How did you find this group?

Disgraceful, demeaning and oppositional.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Increased confusion, worse health status and discouragement knowing that they are behind the attacks on the organizations who need funding to make a difference. They are simply selfish.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

July 1, 2011
5 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
July 1, 2011
5 people found this review helpful

another client not served--the CFIDS assn of America has been doing disservice to the people it says it represents for 20 years now, since it was taken over from its founder by Kim McCleary. They say they are no longer a "patient organization," and now they are a "donor organization." They did this when the number of their members was dropping like a stone. I think they did it because they do not want to have to make public how few people with CFIDS actually support them. They have joined with the US Govt Center for Disease Control to make the plight of sufferers even worse, by publishing materials for doctors which tells doctors the disease is all in patients' heads and what they need is behavioral therapy and exercise, which have actually been proven not to help and exercise frequently causes worsening of the disease. This organization should be closed down.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was on the receiving end of the CFIDS Assn's quest solely for funding without helping patients

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fire Kim McCleary and Suzanne Vernon, or close down the organization and start over again.

July 1, 2011
5 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
July 1, 2011
5 people found this review helpful

For lack of another descriptor, I am a Client Served; however, I am served something very unpalatable. The CAA does not represent the interests of the patient community. This feeling is widespread. A petition to dissociate from the CAA has netted close to 600 signatures (http://cfsuntied.com). The CAA has contributed to the mischaracterization of this illness by promoting an inappropriate and belittling name, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as opposed to the historical name, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. They have failed to advocate with respect to case definition, ICD code, proposed changes to the DSM, and funding of research into infectious agents. This is not just a patient issue but a public health issue. After the Executive Director, Kim McCleary, in a CNN interview seemed to endorse the dangerous "treatment" of Graded Exercise Therapy, the CAA announced that they were not an advocacy organization but rather a research organization. Yet they are still available to give comments to the press as if they were an advocacy organization. The CAA represents the interests of the insurance industry and governments whom do not want to treat this illness as legitimate, not the interests of patients.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the impact of their actions or lack of action on public and medical perceptions of the illness and the nonfunding of biomedical research into etiology.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage it to fold.

July 1, 2011
5 people found this review helpful

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July 1, 2011
5 people found this review helpful

Really, I am a CLIENT NOT SERVED. The CFIDS Assn of America, Inc. exists for the purpose of paying large salaries to its CEO, Kim McCleary, and its Research Director, Suzanne Vernon. They are in the business of keeping their salaries. They have proven again and again that they do not care about the people suffering with the illness. They should just disappear and stop torturing patients.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

having my doctor insult me based on the information they gave, together with the Center for Disease Control, to medical professionals. They not only do not serve sufferers; they cause them additional problems.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get rid of McCleary, Vernon, and their rubber-stamp Board of Directors.

July 1, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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1 previous review
February 27, 2011

The CAA really don't do what they were set up to do.. Many CFIDS/CFS/ME (all the same illness - silly ain't it) patients are upset and disappointed with their poor track record. One patient forum ha... more

July 1, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

There is no role category for 'client not served' so the role indicated here is misleading. The CAA were originally a patient-led organisation. That all changed a decade or more ago. Now, it's more of a gravy train for the CEO and scientific advisor. They fail to publicise important developments or get behind others in the field that are doing useful work. Their sole raison d'etre appears to be to keep themselves in business, with an ever growing constituency of sick people to milk.

It appears that members of the CAA have been reviewing themselves on these pages - their underserved client base would not write reviews such as I see published here, with five star ratings. See the patient poll here: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/showthread.php?10169-Caa-poll

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Trying to suppress the truth, and trip up people who are working to bring help to the +/- one million Americans with ME aka CFS/CFIDS.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Sack the lot of them

February 27, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

The CAA really don't do what they were set up to do.. Many CFIDS/CFS/ME (all the same illness - silly ain't it) patients are upset and disappointed with their poor track record. One patient forum has a poll up on this here http://forums.aboutmecfs.org/showthread.php?10169-Caa-poll where you can see there is an overwhelming need for the CAA to change both leadership and direction.

For the patients, the Whittemore Peterson Institute (also part of this competition for funds) have done more in a few short years for them than the CAA has ever done.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Advocacy, it suck.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get rid of the board, the scientific advisor and the CEO

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

How did you find this group?

They are the major ME/CFS group in the States.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

none

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

July 1, 2011
4 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
July 1, 2011
4 people found this review helpful

I would refer to myself as a "Client Unserved" by CAA. I have had viral CFS for over 20 years, and my disease is still referred to as "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", there is still no FDA-approved treatment for the disease, and the CDC has been able to change the definition of the disease twice since I was diagnosed, and has changed it to a watered-down definition that no longer represents the original illness. As far as I am concerned, CAA has accomplished absolutely nothing. We have gone backwards. In fact, I suspect that they are receiving funding from those who hope to continue the obfuscation surrounding this disease. Their scientific director was employed by the CDC and contributed to 3rd revision of the disease definition, which cannot distinguish between CFS and depression. Their CEO seems to have had no work experience other than with CAA. There is something very wrong with this picture.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

..my physicians' unfamiliarity with the disease, the lack of testing and treatments for the disease, the social stigma associated to the disease, and the general failure for the understanding of this disease to progress over two decades. CAA was supposed to be an advocacy group, then changed to a research group but failed to notify patient stakeholders and still have not informed the media about their new mission, so the media still asks them for statements in their old capacity as an advocacy group.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...change the leadership immediately. I would be transparent about who is funding the organization. I would serve the interests of people with the disease CFS, and not those who are merely "unwell" or "fatigued". I would lobby the government to use an accurate name and definition to describe the disease. Most importantly, I would not use my position and money to suppress the truth about CFS.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

How did you find this group?

physician recommendation

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

I've became an advocate in an attempt to undue the damage that they have done

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 19, 2011

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June 19, 2011

In 1986 I was a healthy, energetic student working on my Ph.D. when I found myself suddenly bedbound with a mysterious illness that even my doctors didn’t understand. It was a frightening time during a period when there was incredibly little known about ME/CFS and like most sufferers I felt isolated and alone. The resources that the CFIDS Association of America (CAA) provided were a lifeline giving me a way to understand a complex and baffling array of symptoms when I might have otherwise questioned my own sanity, information and a language with which to educate doctors and friends alike, and the feeling that there in my dark bedroom I was still part of a larger community.

In the intervening years under Kim McCleary’s leadership and with the support of wonderful staff and board members, CAA has continued to be a trusted resource and tireless advocate. Suzanne Vernon has been a brilliant addition to the team and I am hopeful that focusing more resources directly on research will bring us all closer to treatment and cure. CAA has my infinite gratitude.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

1) Research and treatments that have directly and positively affected my condition. 2) Brochures, newsletters, expert lectures, and information from the CAA website that have helped me understand my condition and explain it to others. 3) The hope that comes from knowing the CAA is providing direct advocacy tothe NIH and other organizations as well as the research they have funded.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would ask that the CAA support adoption of ME/CFS as the name of the condition even if it doesn't accurately reflect the yet to be understood aspects of the disease. Easier said than done, I also think leadership needs to do whatever it can not to be distracted from the organization’s mission by subgroups of the patient population who sadly seem to feel so disenfranchised that they are willing to divert resources from the very organizations who are trying to help.

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