SPRINGFIELD, NJ - An estimated 100 million people in the United States suffer daily with symptoms of chronic pain, both visible and invisible.
At Tuesday night's township committee meeting, a proclamation was read in support of National Pain Awareness Month, a nationwide campaign that seeks to educate and inform residents, as well as make them more aware of those suffering around them.
Jonathan Dayton student Ashle Campos was on hand to receive the proclamation from Mayor Erica Dubois. Campos came before the township committee last year to discuss her condition, called Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS).
Speaking before the committee last year, Campos, now a senior at Jonathan Dayton High School laid out her journey towards acceptance of her condition, and how she deals with the bouts of pain and weakness it can cause. This year, Campos did not speak before the committee.
After being awarded the proclamation, she spoke with TAPinto about her experience being an advocate.
"Since I've actually come and talked more about it and been open with it more people have been opening up about their [conditions] and looking for more help," Campos said. "Coming to me or coming to adults or something like that...so it's nice to know that I've made a difference, letting people feel like they can come to somebody my age that understands."
She also said that having the town acknowledge her efforts and the efforts of those working along side her is a major step as well.
"Being that a lot of people don't know about it and that it goes unnoticed, undetected and unshared...that there is a community such as our own that is willing to recognize it brings hope that people actually come to understand and be more willing to learn about what's going on," Campos added.