In 1992, Tom Hennessey who resides in the United States, founded Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases, (RESCIND, Inc.), and realized that an international day was necessary to bring awareness to ME/CFS and chose May 12th as the day for awareness activities because it is the birth date of Florence Nightingale.
Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse, became chronically ill in her mid-thirties and may have been ill with ME/CFS and/or FM. Ms Nightingale represents unselfish dedication and for the past 50 years of her life was bedridden but still managed to found the world’s first school of nursing.
In her memory and for her dedication, this day was chosen. Early support for Awareness Day came from a group located in the United Kingdom called Blue Ribbon for the awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (BRAME) and highlighted this day at a World Medical Conference on ME/CFS in 1995 which to the establishment of it becoming an international awareness day.