When Jennifer Brea smiles, she exudes pure joy and vitality. As a young woman she travels the globe, works on her PhD at Harvard, and marries the equally gifted and gregarious Omar. Together they seem primed to take on the world. Until one day Jennifer comes down with a 104.7 degree fever, and life as they know it is never the same. Her harrowing journey through perpetual sickness, uncertainty, and isolation finally leads to a diagnosis of ME, also known as CFS, or chronic fatigue syndrome. But that’s just the beginning of her story—a story she documents and narrates with a measure of courage and persistence that belies her severely weakened, and mostly bedridden, physical state. With both grace and ferocity, Jennifer digs deep into the historical lineage of this “mystery disease” while uncovering a vast international online community of ME sufferers, whose voices she is determined to make heard. The result is an utterly riveting and heartbreaking investigation of the complex intersections of medicine, gender, injustice, gratitude and pure, unconditional love.
In Person: Executive Producer Deborah Hoffmann (May 13)