Driving research of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS),
Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia and Post COVID .

San Francisco TV News Covers Davis’ Family Struggle with Severe ME / CFS


It’s a compelling story that has brought lots of news media attention: A famous scientist, our own ME / CFS Scientific Advisory Board director Ronald W. Davis, PhD, trying to find scientific answers to save his son from a devastating disease, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

A San Francisco television news station reported Whitney Dafoe’s story of being an award-winning photographer to being tragically debilitated from a disease that has had, until recently, scant interest from the US government, doctors, and researchers. (See news story in video to the right, after the brief commercial.)

As stated in the report, Prof. Ron Davis joined our foundation to do research on the severely ill patients in hopes of finding a diagnostic biomarker and effective treatments. But in Prof. Davis’s case, it’s a race to see if he can make this progress in time to save his son. The report indicates Whitney’s life is at risk.

This may cause some to ask if ME / CFS can be fatal. Although documented cases are rare, the answer is yes: people have died from this disease. The most well-known case is Sophia Mirza, whose autopsy said she died from renal failure as a complication of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The ME / CFS community knows of others whose death can wholly or partially be attributed to ME / CFS. Most commonly, severely ill patients lose hope and can no longer endure the suffering and commit suicide. This tragedy can be stopped because the answers are in research discoveries, some already found and some coming soon.

We invite you to give these desperate patients hope by donating to our End ME / CFS Project.

Donate Now

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®


Averting a second pandemic:

Open Medicine Foundation leads groundbreaking international study of

Long COVID’s conversion to ME/CFS

AGOURA HILLS, CALIF.  — Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) is leading a large-scale international collaborative study investigating the potential conversion of Post-Acute Sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection — more commonly known as Long COVID or Post-COVID Syndrome —  to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), a chronic, life-altering disease with no known cause, diagnostic test or FDA approved treatments available.

Up to 2.5 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from ME/CFS; the COVID-19 pandemic could at least double that number. An estimated 35 percent of Americans who had COVID-19 have failed to fully recover several months after infection, prompting many to call it “a potential second pandemic.”

OMF recognized a familiar health crisis emerging, one with eerie similarities to ME/CFS. This crisis presented a unique opportunity to understand how a viral infection — in this case COVID-19 — may develop into ME/CFS in some patients. The goal is to find targeted treatments for ME/CFS patients and ultimately prevent its onset in people infected with SARS-CoV-2 or other infections.

The federal government is only now investing in Post-COVID research, with no focus on its connection to ME/CFS. OMF has already engaged researchers for the largest-scale study of its kind, solely supported by private donors who have contributed over one million dollars to date. When fully funded, the five million dollar, three-year study will be conducted across the globe at OMF funded Collaborative Research Centers, led by some of the world’s top researchers and ME/CFS experts.


In a significant percentage of patients, infections preceded their development of ME/CFS.  For example, according to the CDC about one in ten infected with Epstein-Barr virus, Ross River virus, or Coxiella burnetti develop symptoms that meet the criteria for ME/CFS.


The ability to follow the development of ME/CFS from a known viral infection is unprecedented to date and crucial to researchers’ understanding of the disease. The focus of this study is to find the biological differences between persons returning to good health after COVID-19 and persons who remained ill more than six months after infection and developed ME/CFS.  Understanding these alterations in key pathways can lead to groundbreaking discoveries including new biomarkers, drug targets, and prevention and treatment strategies.


About Open Medicine Foundation

Established in 2012, Open Medicine Foundation leads the largest, concerted worldwide nonprofit effort to diagnose, treat, and prevent ME/CFS and related chronic, complex diseases such as Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Post COVID. OMF adds urgency to the search for answers by driving transformational philanthropy into global research. We have raised over $28 Million from private donors and facilitated and funded the establishment of five prestigious ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centers around the world. To learn more, visit www.omf.ngo.


Heather Ah San

Development and Communications Manager