Aviva! Your vote can help fund a year of ME/FM awareness in Canada!

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It will cost you nothing more than an online vote to help see the National ME/FM Action Network enter the second round of the Aviva community competition to win $100,000. Voting in this round closes 14th October and you can vote every single day until then - so please join us and cast your vote now! By Firestormm.

Join us in sending the National ME/FM Action Network of Canada through to the second round of the Aviva Community Fund competition so that they can win $100,000 to be used to help raise awareness on 12th May 2014.​

This is the first of three qualifying rounds of the online competition. At the time of writing we have 12 days left until all the votes are totted up and the National ME/FM Action Network will move hopefully a little closer to winning $100,000.

Voting is so darned simple even I could do it!

Go here to register.

Click the button, Vote Now.

Complete the simple voting registration form (the one on the left) with your email address and provide a password.

Or, you can vote via your Facebook account (the blue button above), and simply skip the permission request to access your profile etc.

You only need to register the first time and you don't need a Facebook account to vote in this competition.

You can vote every single day (using the same link will redirect you to the right place - or click the pictures above and below which are also linked to the voting page) and you can ask to be reminded to vote automatically.

Voting for the first round ends on 14th October at which time we'll aim to publish another article when they are successfully through to the next round.

But your support is needed. So please help give a fighting chance for the National ME/FM Action Network of Canada to win $100,000 so that they can ensure May 12th 2014 begins a spectacular year for raising awareness of our disease and bringing much needed attention to those like us who are most affected by it.

The Action Network has already made it into the top ten in its size category of this round and if it maintains that position and is then able to repeat its performance in subsequent qualifying rounds, it will go through to the semi-finals in December. All finalists in each round win $5,000. The leaderboard can be found here.

Please consider sharing this article on your own Facebook page to help bring greater awareness to the competition. Use our share link (the green pop-out located on our Home page version of this article), to 'like' on Facebook, to 'tweet' or to recommend the article on other applications.

The National ME/FM Action Network of Canada

The Action Network's contest statement is as follows:

Our dream begins with awareness. May 12th Awareness Day is a chance for the 750,000 people living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) to be seen and heard! These illnesses are real; the people are real; and they need help NOW!

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.

Dr Nancy Klimas, an expert in both ME/CFS and AIDS, was quoted as saying “A CFS patient feels the same or worse than congestive heart failure. The same or worse than late stage AIDS. If I had to choose between the two illnesses I would rather have H.I.V.

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.
We are on a mission to bring awareness in Canada for this community of people living with these illnesses and to set the stage for fundraising for research and more physician education. To date our volunteer efforts have been handcuffed as not only is our community very disabled, many are in financial distress. The illness limits our ability to raise the substantial amounts required to mount a large scale awareness event and to fund the desperately needed research. It is the dream of our community to erase stigma and finally be taken seriously by friends, family, researchers, government and those in our local communities.

This contest gives us a chance to fund a nation wide awareness campaign for 2014, the 22nd Anniversary of May 12th Awareness Day. It will also define Canada as a world leader in raising awareness as this day is also an international event. It will not only benefit 750,000 Canadians, but it will indirectly benefit the 20 million people that suffer worldwide.

We will use the funds to hold events in as many communities across Canada as possible which will lay the foundation for a strong network of organizations in Canada and future fund raising for education and research. We’ll connect with every MP and provincial/territorial representative in Canada and have May 12th proclaimed in cities nationwide. We’ll sport t-shirts, carry signs and have engaging speakers in as many communities as possible. Each event will have its own venue but will share elements common to all. In order to unite the larger community across Canada we’ll also advertise in national and local papers, and, if funding permits, on TV and radio. As education is so critical, we will also target physicians, medical students and other health professionals with our letters and/or advertising. Brochures and a white board medicine video are planned.

We believe with awareness, will come action! Our community is desperately in need of treatment facilities and funding is required to support research and our scientists. A successful May 12th will bring many rewards for years to come. These activities will not only benefit us today, but they will be an investment in our future.

Aviva’s gift will help to unite our national and local communities and make a difference to the lives of many Canadians. It will give us credibility in our quest for treatment and a cure and hope for a better tomorrow.

To quote Helen Keller – “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
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Just voted!

Edit: In response to a question, Kina has double-checked with Aviva that non-Canadians can vote, and we can - so let's all get voting!
The terms and conditions have this to say:
To participate in the Aviva Community Fund competition, you need to be residing in Canada, and be a permanent Canadian resident or citizen of Canada
So I'm out.
Voting Process

Everyone registered on the Aviva Community Fund site can vote for their favourite idea(s) during the Idea Entry and Semi-Final phases of the competition. These votes will determine which ideas will become finalists in the Aviva Community Fund competition, and will contribute to a percentage of the final score allocated by the judges.

The Idea Entry phase from noon Sept. 23, 2013 EST until noon Nov. 25, 2013 EST will be held in 3 qualifying rounds. During each qualifying round, the top 10 ideas with the most votes from each size category will move on to the Semi-Finals for a total of 30 ideas in each qualifying round. The remaining ideas from the first 2 opening rounds that don't make it to the Semi-Finals will have their vote count reset to 0 (zero) and are automatically re-submitted to be voted on during the next qualifying round.

I've voted as well.
As I said above - and you might still want to email (but as I and others in the UK have had their votes accepted I do wonder why we are still talking about this) - you needed to be resident to submit an idea, and to compete. Once in the competition anyone can vote for you. Never at any time are you asked to declare the country in which you reside.

That is my read of what has been posted, and from what I read there myself.

Just vote :)

691 votes this morning :balloons:
Votes seem to register even though I reside outside Canada. That's good enough for me - as Sasha says, Aviva can 'clean out' the votes if need be. I don't think we should waste our energy worrying about this.

Voted again - 740.
I agree. Just vote. We're not lawyers! If anyone thinks it would be helpful to remove any of my posts, then please just remove them.

I've voted. :)
I just voted again. :)

I have sent an email to Aviva to ask them to clear up the above confusion. I will post what they say if they answer.

Kina :)
Kina, Bob, FogLeg - I think we need to remove posts that put international voting into doubt, in that case, and have a positive statement that you've checked, Kina, and that international voting is allowed.

I'll delete my earlier posts on this now (and this one later once it's been seen.

Thanks for raising this, FogLeg and Bob - important question - and thanks for checking, Kina!