Written by Linda Tannenbaum, OMF Founder & CEO/President
After our meetings in London, I continued on my End ME/CFS Worldwide Tour 2019 with a stop in Copenhagen, Denmark on Sunday, June 2nd. It was very important for me to be in Denmark and shine an international light on the many challenges Danish patients are facing, and show them the USA, OMF and the world care, and understand their challenges.
Upon my arrival, I was welcomed by Helle Florgaard (Board Member) and her husband and Cathrine Engsig (Vice-Chair) from the Danish ME Association/ME Foreningen. At my talk, there were about 40 attendees including the chairman of The Swedish National Association for ME Patients (RME), Kerstin Heiling, who came all the way from Sweden. Most of the attendees were patients and caregivers. We had a lot of engagement and many questions. At the personal meet and greet afterward, I had the pleasure to talk to some patients; their personal stories keep touching my heart.
It was not only important for me to give an update on what OMF is doing to accelerate open collaborative research to unravel ME/CFS, but I also wanted to raise awareness, share information and especially bring hope to Danish patients. The people were very nice and thanked us all for spreading hope.
“It was lovely to have Linda come all the way to Denmark and bring hope and research updates,” according to Cathrine Engsig. “The situation in Denmark for ME patients is not good. Although the parliament has decided that ME is a somatic disease and should be treated as one, the Danish doctors don’t agree with the politicians and are angry that this happened. They don’t have much knowledge about ME. Doctors don’t recognize the disease and only one private doctor is known to give the diagnosis in Denmark due to the heavy influence of psychiatry on the government level.”
In London, I already had the honor of meeting with Dr. Jesper Mehlsen. Dr. Mehlsen is seeing patients and doing research in Denmark and we look forward to collaborating with him. Dr. Mehlsen is a very caring doctor; he understands the disease, sees many patients and treats their symptoms.
After the meeting, we all had a nice dinner together with several members of the Danish ME Association, where we talked about the ME/CFS situation in Denmark and exchanged hope and ideas to conquer this terrible disease together. We especially want to thank our new friends from the Danish ME Association, in particular, Rebecca Hansen (Chair), Cathrine and Helle for their warm welcome and a perfectly organized event! We truly hope that with these Worldwide Tour talks – and blogs – we can offer some hope and much needed scientific information so that health authorities will better understand this terrible disease.