May 12 International Awareness Day Founder


Thomas M. Hennessy, Jr.

Thomas M. Hennessy, Jr.
April 16, 1954 - Sept. 9, 2013

"If a cause and cure are to be found for ME, FM, MCS, GWI, "Chronic Lyme Disease" and other related C.I.N.D. illnesses in the near future, government and medicine must be made fully aware of their scope and impact.
Despite the efforts of a number of dedicated groups and individuals, there are still vast pockets of ignorance and misunderstanding. To this day, many patients run directly into a medical establishment that, in general, knows very little about these serious thr
eats to human health. 

It is therefore crucial that all those affected by the illnesses make their voices heard, especially on May 12th of each year.” 

Mr. Thom
as M. Hennessy, Jr.

Founder of R.E.S.C.I.N.D., Inc.  (Repeal Existing Stereotypes about Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases).  

R.E.S.C.I.N.D. Logo

How It All Began

May 12 - International Awareness Day for C.I.N.D.'s (Complex Immunological and Neurological Diseases) and the organization behind it, RESCIND, Inc. were started in 1992 by ME/CFS patient and advocate extraordinaire Thomas Hennessy, Jr. Tom died on 9 September, 2013. May12.org continues Tom's work fighting for patient rights.

Here is Tom in an interview on the Larry King Show:

The Florence Nightingale Connection

May 12th was chosen to memorialize the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the English army nurse who inspired the founding of the International Red Cross.  Nightingale contracted a paralyzing, CIND-like illness in her mid-thirties and became chronically ill. She spent the last 50 years of her life virtually bedridden, and despite being severely debilitated she started the world's first school of nursing.

Which Diseases Are Represented?

  • Lyme Disease - LD/Chronic (late-stage) Lyme Disease - CLD
  • Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - ME
  • Gulf War Illness - GWI
  • Fibromyalgia - FM
  • Mold/Biotoxin Illness
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity - MCS
  • Recently added in 2019: Post-Sepsis Syndrome & Vaccine Injuries

These have been combined under the umbrella of CIND based on existing research and commonality of symptoms. 
In order for the world to be alerted to these devastating diseases, it is crucial that those concerned about CIND contact the government and media in conjunction with the MAY 12th awareness day.


Original May 12 Awareness Poster 1993-1994





Meghan-Morgan Shannon, who advocated for all of us on the front lines with Thomas Hennessy, Jr., and the rest of the R.E.S.C.I.N.D., Inc. Board of Directors.

"Medical Professionals with ME 1999 Poster Session Brussels Conference" -  photo by Roger Burns. Poster session with Lori Clovis and Meghan - poster of May 12th awareness RESCIND 1st day - in Brussels, Belgium.


May 12, 2024, marks the 32nd anniversary of International Awareness Day for Complex Immunological & Neurological Diseases (CIND) and the 12th anniversary of May12.org.


Please see our blog with the timeline for the 10th Anniversary of May12.org (from May 2022) at:
May12.org Ten Year Anniversary blog