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Local Woman Won National Scholarship to Help People With Chronic Pain in Virginia

October 31, 2014

Nancy Ryan of Arlington just returned from the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association’s Leaders Against Pain in Salt Lake City, Utah, from October 23-26, where she learned from leading experts skills to advocate on behalf of millions of people with chronic pain for faster diagnosis, better treatments, more research funding and ultimately a cure for these conditions.

According to the Institute of Medicine’s congressionally mandated study, “Relieving Pain in America,” chronic pain affects an estimated one in four, or 110 million U.S. adults, which is more than the number affected by heart disease, diabetes, and cancer combined. “It was an honor for me to be one of 29 people chosen from across the country to attend Leaders Against Pain. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1995. I have found that fibromyalgia is enigmatic and can be a life-altering disorder. It has been a difficult journey. I have participated in many research studies at the NIH and Georgetown University over the years trying to find a cause and effective treatment. I wanted to be a Leader Against Pain so that I can advocate for the patient voice in research and reduce societal stigma by providing information.”

Ryan will be reaching out to members of the local community and state to help her create the change people in pain have desperately needed. To contact Ryan and to follow her work, please like the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association’s Facebook Page, or contact her at [email protected].

Leaders Against Pain teaches skills that address leading an effective support group, creating fibromyalgia and chronic pain awareness events, and working with policymakers to improve access to healthcare and mobilizing the state on important state and national policies that affect chronic pain patients. Upon completion of the training, participants join the Leaders Against Pain Action Network, which is a national working group of individuals across the country partnering to be the voice for millions on critical issues. For more information on the program visit

Dr. Lynn Webster, MD, conference speaker and immediate past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine stated at the end of the conference, “We are just a seed. We cannot be it. We must disseminate the information learned here in our communities and create change together.”


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