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From Pain to Unexpected Fame: One Woman's Journey to Know Fibro

- Martha Beck and Leading Experts Join Together to Help People Living with

Fibromyalgia -

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Living in pain for one day can be excruciating, but for Martha Beck, one day became a seemingly endless cycle of widespread pain, fatigue, emotional changes, and memory problems. It took 12 years of searching for an answer to the painful symptoms she was experiencing before she finally received a formal diagnosis of fibromyalgia at age 31.

Along the way, Beck developed coping skills that helped her manage her fibromyalgia while achieving her personal goals. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology, became a mother and an author, and launched a successful career as a life coach with regular appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

In an effort to help the 5 million Americans with fibromyalgia(1) play an active role in the management of their disorder, Beck is, for the first time, publicly sharing her personal journey by spearheading Know Fibro. This national initiative, co-sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), provides comprehensive fibromyalgia information, symptom management tools, practical tips, and an interactive Web site, .

"When I was diagnosed, I was eager to learn how I could manage my symptoms, but I found there was little credible information available. Unfortunately, that story may sound all too familiar to those living with fibromyalgia," said Beck. "I was forced to create my own coping techniques that helped me take control of my fibromyalgia. Now, I look forward to sharing my experience with fibromyalgia and my life coaching tips to help others on their journey to Know Fibro."

Know Fibro advocates a comprehensive care plan that may include education, lifestyle changes, and medication. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, many experts believe this approach is a helpful way to manage the disorder.(2) Only a health care provider can diagnose fibromyalgia. Therefore it is important for people to discuss their symptoms with a health care provider.

Daniel J. Clauw, M.D., a fibromyalgia expert who contributed to the development of Know Fibro, recognizes the importance of this type of initiative.

"I have been treating people with fibromyalgia for 20 years, and when patients learn about the disorder and what types of things they can do themselves to make it better, this often greatly improves their symptoms," said Clauw, professor of anesthesiology and medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Not only does Know Fibro incorporate our experience into an easy-to-use, interactive initiative, it also provides customizable information to help people manage the symptoms of this disorder on a day-to-day basis."

By logging on to , visitors will have access to:

-- Get to Know Fibro -- A downloadable book that features Martha Beck's personal journey with fibromyalgia and provides a comprehensive overview of the disorder, including symptoms, management techniques and expert advice.

-- FibroGuide -- An interactive symptom management program that can help people with fibromyalgia learn ways to manage the disorder. The customizable program is designed to meet the individual needs of people with fibromyalgia and can show them ways to help manage many of the symptoms so they may be able to do more of the things they want to do.

"I have experienced firsthand how the pain of fibromyalgia can affect even the most simple activities of daily life, like spending quality time with my family," said Lynne Matallana, president of the National Fibromyalgia Association and a fibromyalgia patient. "Know Fibro provides much-needed information to a community that has not had many resources to utilize in the management of the disorder."

To learn more about Know Fibro, please visit: .

About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder estimated to affect 2 percent of the U.S. population, or approximately 5 million people.(1) Women are more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but men also develop the disorder.(3) While no two people experience fibromyalgia in the same way, common symptoms include widespread chronic pain and tenderness, fatigue,(4) problems with memory, concentration or disorganized thinking,(5) emotional changes(6)and sleep problems.(4) While the causes of fibromyalgia remain unknown, some experts believe it is due to some combination of changes in brain and spinal cord chemistry(2), genetics(7)and stress(8).

About Martha Beck, Ph.D.

Martha Beck, Ph.D., has lived with fibromyalgia for almost 30 years and understands the challenges those with the disorder face. She has a bachelor's, a master's and a Ph.D. in sociology, all three from Harvard University, and has published books and articles on a variety of social science and business topics. She also is a columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine. Beck is sharing her story as the official spokesperson of Know Fibro.

About the National Fibromyalgia Association

The National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) is a nonprofit [501(c)(3)] organization whose mission is to develop and execute programs dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. The NFA concentrates on patient support services, awareness outreach, physician education and research. The NFA produces informational materials, hosts a patient Web site ( ), and a health care provider Web site ( ), and publishes the only consumer magazine, Fibromyalgia AWARE.

About Lilly

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through medicines and information - for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at .

(1) Lawrence, et al. "Estimates of the Prevalence of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions in the United States." Arthritis and Rheumatism 2008; 58(1):31.

(2) Leventhal, LJ. "Management of fibromyalgia." Annals of Internal Medicine 1999; 131: 850-858.

(3) Wolfe, F, et al. "The prevalence and characteristics of fibromyalgia in the general population." Arthritis Rheum 1995; 38(1):19-28.

(4) Wolfe, F, et al. "The American College of Rheumatology 1990 Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia." Arthritis and Rheumatism 1990; 33:160-172.

(5) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Questions and answers about fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Web site.

(6) Arnold, L, et al. "Comorbidity of Fibromyalgia and Psychiatric Disorders." Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2006; 67:1219-1225. Accessed February 21, 2008.

(7) Arnold, L, et al. "Family Study of Fibromyalgia." Arthritis & Rheumatism 2004; 50(3): 944-952.

(8) Bennett, Robert M., et al. "An internet survey of 2,596 people with fibromyalgia." BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. March 9, 2007. 8:27.


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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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