Sgt. (Ret.) Mike Rude, along with his companion and service-dog Spark, begins his cross-country awareness tour in three days. He’s going across Canada in an effort to reach as many veterans as he can, to make sure every one of them has the chance to hear his message. Many of them were given a neurotoxic anti-malarial drug, mefloquine, that resulted in brain damage and destroyed countless lives.
Mike is one of those vets, now suffering from chronic quinoline encephalopathy, otherwise known as quinism. It’s symptoms mimic PTSD, which has lead to this disease being misdiagnosed, sometimes with tragic results.
Over 18,000 Canadian Forces personnel were administered mefloquine since 1992, and many of them may be suffering from mefloquine toxicity and not be aware of it. Some may have been diagnosed as having PTSD and are feeling frustrated by their lack of improvement despite years of therapy.
Others still may have simply disregarded their symptoms and suffer in silence, while some simply couldn’t tolerate their suffering anymore and took their own lives.
Mike’s mission is stop this tragedy before more lives are lost. There is no cure or even an effective treatment for quinism yet, but knowing you have it can still save your life. There are ways of managing the disease through diet and exercise, and sometimes, understanding what is wrong can help a person deal with their condition.
It can answer the unanswered questions that have frustrated the mothers and other loved ones of people who have lost their battle with quinism. To understand that what happened to their child or loved one is important. It won’t relieve of their any pain, but they will at least know that what happened was the result of a poison that damaged the brain of their loved one. Were it not for this drug, he or she might still be alive.
How you can help.
Cash donations are always welcome, but you can help Mike out without dipping into your wallet as well. If you can put him up for the night as he goes along, or offer him a hot meal and a hot shower, that would be of great assistance to him. For Mike’s fellow veterans, it would be a great way to help out one of their brothers.
You would also be helping immensely just by sharing this information with an veterans you may know. A lot of vets don’t use social media, and so may not be aware of what is going on, so passing this along is very important.
If you want to help out, send Mike a message on his Facebook page or on The Rude Awakening Facebook page. You can also send me a message on here or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want any details or you wany to help out.
Keep watching for more information and updates.