About May12th

May 12th is the International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), and Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND).

Since 1992 Florence Nightingale’s birthday has been recognised as a time to draw attention to these illnesses, as she is believed to have suffered from a ME/CFS-like illness in her mid-thirties. Florence Nightingale was bedridden for the majority of her life due to the illness.

The illnesses that are included under the Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) umbrella are ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Gulf War Syndrome.

May12th International Awareness Day activities are intended to increase public awareness, assist patients and researchers by raising funds, and increase the knowledge about the illness with healthcare professionals, government officials, and friends and family.

Each of the conditions has adopted a colour:

  • Blue for ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
  • Purple for Fibromyalgia
  • Green for Lyme disease and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Yellow for Gulf War Syndrome

We encourage you to raise awareness and express your solidarity to the cause by wearing ribbons, clothing, hair dye etc in your chosen colour.

May12th Awareness also runs the week before (and sometimes after) the 12th of May each year, and events around the world often continue throughout the entire month of May.


May12th ME/CFS Awareness in Australia

In Australia over the last few years, we have had:

  • Various events held by our ME/CFS organisations.
  • #MillionsMissing events held by patients and organisations.
  • Light Up The Night taking place each year.

May12th ME/CFS Awareness around the world

If you live outside of Australia or want to know what is happening globally, please visit the international website for May12th International ME/CFS Awareness Day, may12th.org.