The response from the community to my campaign has been incredible--beyond what I imagined when I launched it a few weeks ago. I’ve been enormously touched and heartened by the donations and comments. I certainly didn’t think I would have to consider what I’d do if I over-shot my goal of $60,000. But yesterday the donations passed $55,000, and that has triggered Erica Verillo’s amazingly generous $5000 matching contribution. I’ve now secured my half-time position for the next 12 months, with 10 days more to go in this campaign. So I need to explain why I hope people continue to donate.
PACE-busting is a big, big job! Basically, more donations will allow me to do more. Over the last year or so, I’ve been asked by many people in many countries—Australia as well as across Europe, in addition to the U.K.--to visit and expose the harms caused by their own domestic PACE/CBT/GET ideological brigades. Since February of 2016, I’ve gone to the UK four times and once to the Netherlands, for research and interviews as well as talks in Amsterdam, Belfast and London. I have travelled as cheaply as possible, crashing with friends and sometimes staying in hostels--I haven’t noticed many others of my advanced age in these dormitory rooms! But the costs have still added up.
In the next 12 months, I hope to go to Australia, because the situation there is awful, and take at least two more times to the U.K. and hopefully to one or more of the other European countries suffering under this terrible burden. In addition to conducting research and interviews, I will seek to arrange talks to both patient groups and professional/academic audiences; these talks, I have seen, are an important means of spreading awareness of what’s gone on. I will budget up to $10,000 for travel—about half for Australia, and the other half for Europe. Any additional funds will be used to extend my Berkeley appointment proportionally beyond next June 30th--for a month, two months, or whatever.
Before the end of the campaign, I am hoping to post another couple of blogs. One is about an 87-year-old retired GP who was patient #234 in the Royal Free outbreak. The second is about an issue I have tip-toed around and finally raised in my Invest in ME talk: Is PACE a case of scientific misconduct? (It’s probably not hard to figure out what my answer will be.)
What else will I be working on over the next year? I plan to smack down the recent Cochrane review, which was able to conclude that GET worked only because of the egregious decision to include PACE and other Oxford criteria studies. I plan to look at the challenges people face in obtaining desperately needed help from government agencies and insurance companies. I plan to examine the PACE investigators’ conflicts of interests, including their intervention in specific cases in which patients have sought benefits. I want to track down other surviving patients from the Royal Free outbreak, and to deconstruct the 1970 paper that reinterpreted that that seminal event as a case of mass hysteria. And so on.
I certainly have my work cut out for me! Even though I have reached my initial ambitious fund-raising goal, every additional contribution will be put towards a single purpose--helping me bust the false PACE/CBT/GET paradigm for good.