Buddy Program is a community-based program that was initiated by Dr. Leonard Jason and Jennifer Shlaes at DePaul
University in 1996. This program was developed to offer companionship
and practical assistance to individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FMS), and Multiple Chemical
Sensitivity (MCS).This assistance is provided by a buddy, a volunteer that provides support and understanding to people with
these illnesses. Volunteers offer different kinds of supportive behavior, such as emotional support by being empathetic,
trustful and good listeners. They also provide practical support by helping their buddies in any direct way, such as
organizing files, writing letters, or creating photo albums.
people with CFS, MCS, and/or FMS lose the support of family and friends due to negative attitudes about these illnesses. The
Buddy Program not only contributes to the social support network of individuals with these illnesses but it also seeks to
educate the community about them, reducing the stigma and skepticism that accompanies these poorly understood chronic illnesses.