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AVIVA Semi-Finals: National ME/FM Action Network is competing for $100,000

Mark submitted a new blog post:

AVIVA Semi-Finals: National ME/FM Action Network is competing for $100,000

The National ME/FM Action Network in Canada is competing for $100,000 for biomedical research of ME and FM in the Aviva Community Fund contest. With thanks to all who helped, they made it through the first round of voting into the Semi-Finals.

The Semi-Finals are now underway and require casting a daily vote through Dec 10th. Voting ends at 4pm EST on December 10th.

The top 20 from the large prize division will become Finalists in the judging phase to determine how much each project will receive. Each Finalist is guaranteed $5,000 and could win up to $100,000!

Voting Is Simple!

If you have not voted before, just go to https://www.avivacommunityfund.org and click on REGISTER in the top right corner. You will then enter your name and email address. If you would prefer, you can simply use your Facebook account to enter. An email will be sent to you to confirm your registration. Go to your email account to find the email and click on the link provided to confirm your registration.

You can find our entry by either searching for “Advancing Research” in the box provided or just click https://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf19712. Then press the VOTE button, and be sure to return the next day to vote.

If you have voted before, go to https://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf19712 and click VOTE. Your voting is done for the day. Be sure to come back each day to vote.

You may need to SIGN IN with your email address and password. If you cannot remember your password, you can ask to change it and a link will be sent to you in your email account.

After you vote, please consider leaving a COMMENT at the bottom of the voting page to show the devastating personal and societal impact of ME and FM and the critical need for biomedical research. Comments will become important in the judging phase, where the size of the cash prize is determined.

Another way to help is to share this article to let others know about this contest. There is a sharelink on the Phoenix Rising Home page version of this article. It is a green pop-out located at the left-hand side. You can use it to ‘like’ the article on Facebook, or to ‘tweet’ or to recommend it using other applications.

For those viewing the article on Phoenix Rising’s Facebook page, you can simply share the article. You may wish to add a personal message to encourage others to vote.

The ME (ME/CFS) Fundraising Group has helped the National ME/FM Action Network win $25,000 in contests. Worldwide they have helped organizations win over $650,000. This has been possible because of the support of people like you. Please vote daily. It is your votes that make all the difference!

Thanks for your continued support of this research effort!

The National ME/FM Action Network of Canada

Here is their contest statement:

Advancing Research in Canada for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia

The NATIONAL ME/FM ACTION NETWORK is a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) through support, advocacy, education and research.

The 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) conducted by Statistics Canada revealed that there were 411,500 Canadians diagnosed with ME/CFS and 439,000 with Fibromyalgia. The survey also revealed a high level of disability for patients with ME/CFS and FM as well as unmet health care needs.

ME/CFS and FM are chronic and severely disabling illnesses. They are as disabling as MS and are more prevalent in Canada than breast cancer, MS and AIDS combined! People are frequently bedridden and become isolated from friends and family – invisible in their own communities. These illnesses are real; the people are real; and they need help NOW!

These illnesses do not discriminate. All races, men and women, rich and poor, adults and children can be afflicted. It is devastating when a child is forced to cope with such a disabling illness.

Currently there are no definitive biomarkers or treatment protocols for ME or FM. Diagnosis is made by comparing patient symptoms with diagnostic criteria, then excluding other possible causes of those symptoms. Treatments are merely a means to manage the symptoms. There is no known prevention or cure.

Lacking these basic fundamentals has an enormous impact on our current community and the thousands of people still struggling to be diagnosed. It typically takes years to obtain a proper diagnosis and it’s known that early intervention increases the chance of recovery. We need more research now!

To date, minimal funds have been available resulting in little biomedical research in Canada for these illnesses. Our Canadian patient community are asking for and are in need of biomedical research and solutions. Internationally, patient groups are beginning to take a leadership role by organizing and fundraising to advance research. It’s time Canada takes a lead role in advancing research and shines a light on the severity and complexities of these illnesses.

With the proceeds from the Aviva contest, the National ME/FM Action Network will establish a research arm that will take on the challenge of advancing biomedical ME and FM research in Canada. This will require some legal and accounting expenses. We will unite Canada’s experts and assemble an advisory group, establish our research criteria, investigate the various research opportunities requiring funding, choose our first project and support the execution and reporting of its results in 2015.

The research project will incur expenses for salaries for research personnel (postdoc and graduate students) to conduct the study and prepare a paper for publication, expenses for sample selection and participant coordination, cost of laboratory materials used, and charges for use of a facility’s equipment for analysis of the samples. Also a webinar is planned to share the results.

We have several exciting research opportunities to choose from to pursue and complete in 2015 that will benefit not only Canadians but millions of people worldwide, today and in the years to come. To support our researchers, we will use a portion of the funds to complete an international investigation of options to make a biobank available for future Canadian research projects. We also use funds to engage our patient community to determine their preferences for future projects and to communicate our plans with them and the media.

Additionally, we will work to build on our relationship with government to obtain long term funding for other projects and to increase their awareness of the 850,500 Canadians in need of their support. This will involve the expense of meetings, mailings and possibility the hiring of a grant writer. The Aviva funds will permit us to solidify the direction of research in Canada and make a significant contribution towards improving the lives of current and future ME and FM patients.

Aviva’s gift will help to us make a difference to the lives of many Canadians.

It will give us credibility in our quest for answers and solutions and hope for a better tomorrow.

Phoenix Rising is a registered 501 c.(3) non profit. We support ME/CFS and NEID patients through rigorous reporting, reliable information, effective advocacy and the provision of online services which empower patients and help them to cope with their isolation.

There are many ways you can help Phoenix Rising to continue its work. If you feel able to offer your time and talent, we could really use some more authors, proof-readers, fundraisers, technicians etc. We’d also love to expand our Board of Directors. So, if you think you can help in any way then please contact Mark through the Forums.

And don’t forget: you can always support our efforts at no cost to yourself as you shop online! To find out more, visit Phoenix Rising’s Donate page by clicking the button below.

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Thanks Mark. I have to admit to not voting for a few days as we were outside the top ten, and I just assumed that was what mattered. Back on it.
Thanks, Mark - lots of us already voting in this on Phoenix Rising - I hope lots more will join in!

Good to have a contest where Facebook isn't necessary. :)
Thank you very much for posting this blog! The National ME/FM Action Network is currently in 16th place--in line to become a Finalist if they can stay in the top 20 through Dec. 10. Anything can happen in the last couple of days, so these last daily votes are critical. Thanks to everyone who has been voting and sharing!
Many thanks for the reminder to vote daily.
Great job but keep voting and asking friends and family to vote. Some organisations which are behind us got many votes during last hours. So we need to be carefull and to bring more votes to be saved
Still in 16th place, but our lead has been cut to fewer than 30 votes! Hopefully, we will pick up some votes now that P2P is over. Please vote before 4 pm EST and ask others to vote too. Thanks for your support!
Thanks to everyone who voted in the Semi-Finals! Official results will be announced on Dec. 12th, but it looks like we finished in the top 20 and are now in the Finals, where judges determine how much each project gets. As a Finalist, we are guaranteed $5,000, and we may get more! ~ Special thanks to Phoenix Rising for posting this blog and emailing contest info!
Thanks to everyone who voted in the Semi-Finals! Official results will be announced on Dec. 12th, but it looks like we finished in the top 20 and are now in the Finals, where judges determine how much each project gets. As a Finalist, we are guaranteed $5,000, and we may get more! ~ Special thanks to Phoenix Rising for posting this blog and emailing contest info!
Yipee, I hope you are right that we made the top 20! Thanks to all for promoting and voting!
Update Oct 24, 2015 for this year's Aviva contest:

Voting has closed and unofficially we did it! We came in 2nd in our category. They announce the official results on Nov 3rd.

This means that we have at least won $5000 and we have a shot at the $100,000.

Thank you so much for voting daily and helping us to advance to the finals. Your support is greatly appreciated.