Photo: Courtesy of Carol Head

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Carol Head
The Tireless Advocate
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is the Rodney Dangerfield of diseases: It gets next to no respect. “We’re all fatigued” is the response Carol Head sometimes hears when she tells people she’s fundraising on behalf of CFS. “They don’t realize it’s a debilitating condition affecting up to two and a half million Americans,” she says. Since becoming president of the nonprofit Solve ME/CFS Initiative in 2013, Head has fought attempts to ax federal funding for research, called for a more legitimate-sounding name for the disorder ("myalgic encephalomyelitis") and orchestrated a public awareness campaign with a video in Times Square—where up to one and a half million people a day learned about a disease that makes people sick, not just sleepy.