Founded in 2002, For Grace is inspired by the true-life story of our founder and spokesperson, Cynthia Toussaint. A former ballerina, Ms. Toussaint has suffered, after a ballet injury, with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome for 30 years. She now has Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as over-lapping conditions.
Today, from her wheelchair, Ms. Toussaint champions awareness of the gender bias toward women in pain worldwide. Since her CRPS diagnosis in 1995, she remains active in the arenas of public speaking, writing, mass media (TV, newspaper, magazine, radio, Internet) and political advocacy for those who do not have a voice. She was the impetus behind the New York Times and Los Angeles Times first articles detailing her disease. Also, she spearheaded the first-ever California Senate informational hearings about CRPS and the gender disparity toward women who experience pain.
Ms. Toussaint has been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NBC’s The Patient Channel, PBS, Discovery Health, The Learning Channel, Home and Health Worldwide and in AARP The Magazine, Newsweek, Woman’s Day, AOL.com’s homepage and on Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference and Architects of Change websites, among others.
She is the author of Battle for Grace: A Memoir of Pain, Redemption and Impossible Love. In March, the book launched on Maria Shriver’s Architects of Change website!
Note: Ms. Toussaint is currently in her second partial CRPS remission (first in 25 years!) Read how it happened.
Her 32-year partner and caregiver, John Garrett, also assumes a leadership role in the organization. It is their shared passion to place the plight of women in pain and their caregivers in mainstream consciousness that provides the backbone and spirit of For Grace.