By: Stu Smith

Over the past few months, the American public has been provided a great deal of scientific and medical information relative to COVID-19. We have learned from the nation’s best scientific minds that for the overwhelming majority of the general population, this disease presents a minimal threat to health and well being. The vast majority of healthy individuals, when infected with COVID-19, appear to experience physical symptoms, not unlike mild flu or a common cold. On the other hand, this virus can produce painful and debilitating symptoms when contracted by the elderly or those with underlying conditions. In fact, this virus has proven lethal for many in these vulnerable categories. Clearly, those suffering from chronic medical conditions, or disabilities find themselves at great risk, should they become infected. As the risk to patients requiring caregiver support escalates, the burden placed upon them has increased exponentially.

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The responsibilities carried out by a caregiver is an invaluable, yet vital role within the lives of chronic pain patients. The informal caregiver often goes unnoticed by communities and policymakers, but Maine is attempting to change that this year.

LD 1919 would provide a refundable income tax credit of up to $2,000 to a taxpayer who personally provides at least 150 hours per year of personal care assistance services for the care and support of an eligible family member or spouse. If you’re a caregiver or pain warrior who supports this legislation, take action today! Your timely response is important, as the Joint Committee on Taxation has scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 6.

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Last weekend, more than 125 kids with chronic pain and their families traveled from across the country for the first-ever Pediatric Pain Warrior retreat in Disney World. The event was the official kick-off of U.S. Pain’s new Pediatric Pain Warrior program, which is dedicated to the unique needs of children with chronic illnesses and their loved ones.

The weekend included plenty of opportunities for fun, like dinner with Mickey Mouse and a scavenger hunt, but the focus was education and empowerment. Saturday featured a full day of presentations ranging from the importance of talking about pain and sharing your story to tips for living with common pain conditions, like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome. The retreat also celebrated the release of the INvisible Project: Pediatric second edition, which will be available online in the coming weeks.

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 U.S. Pain Foundation is proud to announce it will officially launch a Pediatric Pain Warrior Program in 2018.

“This program’s goal is to ensure that no child feels like he or she is fighting this journey alone,” says Paul Gileno, president and founder of U.S. Pain. “To do that, we will provide resources for the pain warrior as well as his or her family, offer support online as well as in-person, give families a safe and secure place to share stories, and keep the community up-to-date on events and awareness campaigns.”

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