ST. PETERSBURG — The Keep Hope Alive Fibromyalgia Support Group, Inc. held their 2019 awareness day events on May 24 and 25 at the Next STEPP Pregnancy Center event space. This year the group gave out informational flyers and brochures, keepsake bracelets and guest speaker Dr. Lockett gave eventgoers tips on how to deal with the debilitating disease.
Valerie Dorn, president and founder of the Keep Hope Alive Fibromyalgia Support Group, has suffered from the disease for more than 25 years. She doesn’t want anyone to go through what she endured while being misdiagnosed for years.
“So this is my reason and purpose — to get the word out that fibromyalgia is a condition that can be sometimes overlooked,” said Dorn.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder marked by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals. Symptoms sometimes begin after physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
This year’s awareness event featured husband and wife team of “Soke” Bryant K. Harrell and his wife Master Sensei Leotte-Keiva Harrell, who are martial arts experts and owners of Midtown Miracles. The two demonstrated Tai Chi techniques to protect sufferers and ease the discomforts of fibromyalgia.
Dorn told of her experience coping with the disease while Dr. Lockett held a question and answer session.