24 May 2011
With one day of voting still to go, the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) for Neuro-Immune Disease has secured over 6,200 votes in its bid to win a Chase Community Giving award worth $500,000.
Many people with M.E. support the WPI after researchers there identified genetic material (DNA) from a mouse virus - murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) - in 68 out of 101 CFS patients (67%) compared to 8 out of 218 (3.7%) of healthy people (October 2009).
The findings have caused controversy but WPI representatives Annette Whittemore and Judy Mikovits continue to defend their position, most recently in visits to London and Ireland.
The WPI has made it to round two in the Chase Community Giving campaign which lets Facebook fans vote to help determine which nonprofit organisation will receive the top donation of $500,000. The charity receiving the most votes between 19 and 25 May will receive the cash.
The WPI says: “Winning this money will help to support the opening of our new medical practice at the institute and allow us to set up a special fund for patients who would otherwise be unable to pay for their medical care… In addition to patient care, the institute hopes to begin clinical trials of new therapies within the first year of its opening.”
The charity with the most votes at time of posting is animal rescue charity Petfinder.com Foundation, with nearly 13,500 votes.