(The letter below was written by Katie Crosby who suffers from Fibromyalgia. Katie also is an advocate for medical cannabis oil and runs a Facebook Community called Hope For Silent Sufferers with over 23,000 likes.)
My Beloved Silent Sufferers,
Today, HHS Senate Committee cut fibromyalgia from #HB1. Sen. Renee Unterman told advocates that she did not want Fibromyalgia in the bill. Unterman told one particular advocate with Fibromyalgia that it is not a “real condition.” Ultimately, her desire for us to be cut from HB1 was successful, despite thousands of emails and phone calls to the Senators stating support for HB1, and particularly Fibromyalgia as a qualifying diagnosis. This has been one of the worst days of my life, as this directly affects my health and life in deep ways, and I know it affects thousands of you.
I want to say something from the very beginning, because it weighs the most heavily on my heart– please do not commit suicide over hearing this news because your pain is so horrible and you desperately need relief. Please reach out and talk to someone. Trust me, I totally get the feelings of despair and feeling like I can’t take pain for one more second. My Dad had to testify for me today at the Capitol because I was up most of the night, moaning in excruciating pain from simply taking in and out each breath. I have learned there are worse things than death, and being in severe pain 24/7 is one of them. I know it is a living nightmare to be trapped in hell on earth because your body torments you every waking moment. However, DON’T let your pain beat you! We CAN’T let pain win! Life is worth living, and we are all worthy of living it! Never let your poor health deprive you of knowing how much you are worth.
I’m so deeply sorry to all of you this affects. I know how personal this feels. I have asked myself so many times through tears today, “Why is my suffering not deserving of relief?” The right question to that question, however, is that we DO deserve legal access to possible relief. The Georgia Senate is in the wrong and heartless, and any overdoses or suicides from Fibromyalgia pain this year will be on their hands, not ours.
A reporter asked me during an interview in December, “If you continue to advocate this hard and your diagnosis does not end up in HB1, will it have been worth it?” I immediately said that if any of my work helps expand the bill or moves the ball for medical marijuana in Georgia forward, then without question all of this has been worth it! As I look at the bill, I am proud to say that my fingermarks are on it by the level of THC and other diagnoses included, though I’m not in it. I am glad that Georgia will not go in the record books as having a CBD only pediatric seizure bill.
The truth is, you all have advanced this cause for any chance of some form of medical cannabis in Georgia more than anyone! Our page has grown astronomically, and you all have called and emailed and acted when asked. Thank you for your hard work and advocacy.
I want everyone to know that I am genuinely thrilled for the diagnoses included, particularly for families affected by seizures. I’ve gotten to know many of these families very well, and they and their children have become close to my heart. To know that Haleigh and Jagger will be able to finally come home and that Victoria and Brianna and all the kids will finally get the medicine they so freely deserve in their home state is worth much celebration and fills my heart with much joy. And to everyone else who has a diagnosis remaining in HB1, I joyfully hope that you can get some of the help you deserve through cannabis oil. It’s been an honor to advocate and to be a voice, and if I’ve given anyone a voice, it’s been worth it. I also want to thank Rep. Peake for his tireless efforts, and for even personally fighting for me as his friend. We need more compassionate legislators like him.
The fight is not over. Our legislature may have left those with Fibromyalgia and tons of other diagnoses that did not even make the bill behind this year, but this is only the beginning of the war. We WILL continue to fight! And we are winning the war every day on the Federal level and in other states. In the end, we want much more than cannabis oil. We want full plant medical marijuana. And we will get it, in due time.
Until that joyful day where we all get to freely access a natural medicine that does not poison or kill, we will continue to press on for our freedom for pain relief by advocating. I refuse to give in to bitterness or pride or anger and allow the same horrifying attributes that has some of our legislators in bondage do the same to me.
On that note, I pray for all of you receiving this news now, and that God would fill you will comfort, perseverance, and hope.
Grace and peace,