I wonder if it would help to define the word "advocacy"? I think we might be using it in different ways. To me, advocacy is advocating a position that will help CFS patients. The Association has chosen to focus its advocacy on increasing public, private and commercial investment in high-quality CFS research. To that end, we spend money on government relations representation to help us craft our message to policy makers and then take that message to the policy makers themselves. Example - getting CFS listed as a fundable disease in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense. To accomplish that, we wrote proposed budget language and then went to the Congresspeople necessary to convince them to put the language in the budget. We succeeded. Another way the Association advocates is by participating in the Blood Working Group, AABB Task Force, and the Steering Committee for the NIH State of the Knowledge Workshop. In all these venues, the Association advocates for high-quality research, provides policy makers with the information they need about CFS to recognize it as a real, debilitating disease, and offer our expertise to support the NIH conference to help make it a top-notch exchange of ideas and science. There are many other ways to advocate. The Time for Action Campaign is only one example. Bob, Rivka and Charlotte did a great job with that. Those types of efforts are very important, not only in getting the attention of the media/policy makers but in giving patients something concrete they can do despite our limitations. I can send an email (or a dozen) to Dr. Collins, but I can't go to Bethesda or DC to walk the halls and meet with policymakers. But someone still DOES need to walk those halls, and speak to policymakers with the urgency of our message and in the way those policymakers will get it. I firmly believe that we need multiple approaches to advocacy. We do need grass roots, flashmob type action. And we also need targeted approaches that will convince policy makers to do what we need them to do. These approaches are not mutually exclusive, and they are all forms of advocacy. So why can't we combine our efforts, and support all the ways of advocating? I think that if we could do that, we would create a powerful left-hook, right-hook knockout punch.