In 2017, I learned about the Shades for Migraine campaign. I immediately fell in love with it. When I learned about the Shades for Migraine Community Leader Program, I had to be a part of it. Since 2020, my goal is to get as many people involved as possible, hoping to get someone from all 50 states. I haven’t met that goal yet! But I know that each person who participates has advocated and educated the people who see their social media posts. Even educating one person is something to be proud and excited about.
Finding My Calling
This movement impacts my life on so many levels. I started experiencing headache and migraine after sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2011. I am now considered chronic. Aside from witnessing my mom and sister suffer from headache and migraine, I did not know much about the disease. And I didn’t know headache or migraine could keep someone from participating in daily and meaningful activities. I learned quickly how one can be affected. I feel a call to advocate and educate. Even on the bad days, I want to use my voice to represent people who don’t have or can’t have a voice.
I participate in many activities and help different groups of people become involved — family, friends, doctor offices, physical rehabilitation teams, firefighters and even TV stations. One of the fun things I’ve done as a community leader is get dogs involved too! Who doesn’t love a cute picture of a dog in sunglasses?! I used my dog Han Solo’s Instagram account to post pictures of dogs wearing sunglasses that my friends sent me. I’m definitely doing it again this year because it brought so many people joy, along with increasing education about headache and migraine. If you want to send a picture, DM @hansstrikesback — I’ll post it!
My advocacy and community leadership raises awareness about the impact that headache and migraine for individuals and their loved ones. Through my story, bring visibility to this invisible disease.
My recommendation for anyone who wants to be a migraine advocate: Begin sharing your story. Tell your family and friends. Once you share your story with them, share with people in your community. Social media is another way to advocate and educate others. Anything you can do to educate another person helps this movement and helps spread light and knowledge about headache and migraine.
Being a leader with Shades for Migraine has been one of the best experiences. Being a part of something bigger has given me purpose, especially on the bad migraine days. No one can know what you’re experiencing or going through unless you tell them. Consider joining the Shades for Migraine campaign. Each person who participates helps an individual who lives with headache and migraine.
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