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Valley Fever Survivor provides a great deal of important information about coccidioidomycosis and the devastation it has caused in Arizona, California, the Desert Southwest, and all around the world. Please click the items in this section to learn more! Visit our home page http://www.valleyfeversurvivor.com to read updates at the front page and view our introductory video
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Action Letters

This page shows how you can make a difference now and also includes some of the letters Valley Fever Survivor has sent to politicians and organizations. Everyone with Valley Fever, our friends and our families are at our strongest when we all work together. One united voice for action can make a huge difference. Take action now! The most important things you can do to help Valley Fever Survivors everywhere are as follows:
  1. Read all of our site's pages to become familiar with the information we researched and provided on VF. Our information is different than many other web sites' as it contains verifiable and up-to-date information that does not mislead or distort the facts.
  2. Take every VFS survey that applies to you and encourage others to do the same. We need to know how people feel about the disease, what they know, and how the disease affected them. The questionnaire, opinion poll, the military/student survey, the animal survey, general survey, the Arizona Poll and the California Poll will provide vital information to show specifically how the situation can improve and why it must. The information they provide will speak volumes about this subject.
  3. Start a petition stating "The undersigned want complete funding from our local and federal officials for research for the Valley Fever cure and vaccine projects." It is critical to use that quotation exactly so that everyone who participates can add signatures to the same petition. Each signatory should provide their printed name, signed name, address, and the date of signing. The petition could be done at malls, senior centers, hospitals, parking lots, your workplace, etc. If you do this and send us your signed petitions we will send them along with future letters. These petitions could have a tremendous impact. In light of the 2006 legislation that authorized grants to the Valley Fever Vaccine but did not appropriate money for those grants, it is clear that action must be taken.
  4. Send a polite, respectful letter to every organization you can and request that they fund VF research, publicize the disease, or both as appropriate. Your local politicians are the most important. Follow the directions below on this page to write your own letters.

A sampling of the letters we have sent follows. After the links to our own letters, there is more information about what you should include in your letters.

Our August 2006 petition drive to support federal Valley Fever vaccine funding had 1633 petitioners from 23 states. We sent it with a cover letter to show the importance of fighting coccidioidomycosis and a letter from the citizens of Arizona sent to us by signatories.

Valley Fever Survivor sent letters to the Department of Homeland Security and to the Department of Health and Human Services on July 30, 2004. These letters clearly show the urgency of action against Valley Fever.

Through our work on behalf of Michael Chechak, we have proven that a difference can be made simply by becoming a voice for action. We hope you will join us. We must speak as one voice to promote awareness of this disease and to help those who are affected by it. Please click on the links below to examine several of the letters we have already sent and read on to see how you can help.

The letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs was sent to help T/Sgt Michael Chechak receive full disability payments for contracting Valley Fever while serving in Arizona. It was also to help warn the American military about this disease, although history shows that American military institutions have known far more about this disease for decades than virtually anyone else. Michael Chechak and his wife Louise had tried unsuccessfully for years to have the full disability claim recognized. By providing them with the pertinent information we had researched, they were finally successful in achieving the full disability payments Mike was rightfully due. Because of Mike's case, there is also a new disability classification in the Armed Services for coccidioidomycosis, which will benefit thousands more veterans. Veterans attempting a disability claim due to Valley Fever will want to read more about this here.

Our April 2, 2003 letter to Arizona was our first step to enact regulatory change. We also sent a similar letter to California.

The page of letters to and from the AARP shows the disinterest that the AARP seems to have toward this disease, in spite of the fact that senior citizens are among those hit the hardest by Valley Fever.

We also sent a letter to the NAACP to make them aware of this disease and its frequent race-specific consequences.

We sent a powerful letter to the CDC on March 23, 2004. It includes our reactions to the CDC's tepid response to the cocci epidemic in general and their equally tepid response to our first letter (linked below). We consider our CDC letters to be excellent examples for anyone wishing to write their own letter.

Our August 4, 2003 letter to the CDC is similar to the letter we sent to the Surgeon General. We coined the term SARFI for Severe Acute Respiratory Fungal Infection in this letter in hopes of communicating the seriousness of this disease.

It is very important to write to your elected representatives and to those in political and social positions to safeguard our health. If you do not know how to contact your local and national representatives, visit www.govspot.com and select your state from the drop-down box. You will find the correct links and very quickly be on your way to making a difference!

The following items should be considered essential in your letters.

We must make sure our public officials know we want these changes to be implemented.

  • Ask your politicians to insist the CDC and other public health organizations reduce their funding of behavioral surveys and use that funding for a Valley Fever vaccine and cure instead. While it may be interesting to read about firearm accident statistics or divorce rates, the primary focus of the Centers for Disease Control should be to stop diseases. Note that this request uses money the CDC already has more effectively. It does not change their budget (or your taxes) at all; it simply cuts programs of dubious relation to disease control.

  • State that the American public should have a right to know what diseases exist in any state BEFORE vacationing, relocating, or retiring to that state. This means states with an endemic disease (like Valley Fever) should provide information about their local disease on websites and in brochures of their tourist and visitor bureaus and chambers of commerce.  Universities and other organizations that draw people from out of state must provide this information in a letter to all possible attendees as well. People deserve to be aware of what they’re getting into. It’s strange that we have a warning label on a pack of cigarettes but no warnings about Valley Fever, a naturally occurring biohazard.

  • Request that federal funding go into research for the Valley Fever Vaccine Project, the UTSA vaccine, and nikkomycin Z, an experimental drug that may be the cure. A 2004 estimate suggested it might require $40 million dollars each for proper testing before they can be approved for public use. 2005 estimates suggest the cost may be up to 100 million dollars. However, considering the 2001 Cocci Study group estimated this disease causes $120 million in annual medical treatment costs, a cure and a vaccine are a bargain compared to years of inaction.

  • Cite the most accurate, up-to-date information about Valley Fever. Although our letters on this page were accurate at the time they were mailed, we have occasionally found additional information that is more recent or heavily supported by recent evidence. The most updated information will be included in our Frequently Asked Questions, our Facts and Commentary page, and our page of Common Misconceptions About Valley Fever.

  • In each letter, please mention www.valleyfeversurvivor.com so those who receive your letter may visit us for up-to-date information or contact us for interviews.


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