Please support my Virtual Walk in my Community for Miles for Migraine!
September 29, 2016
Hello. I am Caitlin, and I'm 15 years old. I have been having migraines since age 10. They became chronic two years ago. There is a common misconception that a migraine is "just a headache." It is actually much more than a headache. Migraine is a neurological disease- and severe head pain is just one of its symptoms.
During a migraine, I am extremely ill with crushing head pain, aura (visual disturbance), nausea, vertigo, vomiting, tingling and numbness in my face and extemities, shaking, and sometimes it even affects my speech. A migraine for me can last for multiple days when it will not abort with my injectable medication. I take a painful injection in my thigh to try to abort a migraine, but it doesn't always work. Only one shot can be taken within a week, so if I get another migraine during the same week, I am stuck to suffer through it. Following a bad migraine, I often feel worn out and have leftover effects to my vision and concentration. Currently, I am on botox injections every 3 months to try to reduce migraines. It is not working yet to reduce them, but I've been told to be patient.
Migraines are cruel and can be debilitating. A migraine does not care that you want to go to school or work, that you have homework to do, that it is a holiday, or a family event. They come when they want, stay as long as they want, and for many like me- stop life in its tracks until it goes away. I've had to go to the ER for IV fluids from dehydration from vomiting, and I've had IV treatments to try to stop a migraine.
Migraine attacks can vary in severity from person to person and from attack to attack. Triggers of migraine can include the weather conditions (changes in barometric pressure), the hormonal cycle for women, certain foods, stress, scents, screen glare, and others. No two people experience migraine in exactly the same way. Triggers, symptoms, severity, and medications that people can tolerate and how effective they are vary. It is what makes it a challenging illness.
Migraines are inherited and they tend to run in families. I inherited them...my Dad has had migraines since he was 7 years old, and he still gets them now in his 40's. My maternal Grandma also has a history of migraine. Hers started in her 40's, and she is now in her 70's and still gets them. They can start at any time for anyone.
Please support my virtual walk...I will be walking often in my community for the Virtual Walk and I will post updates to the number of miles I walk for migraines. Money raised for Miles for Migraine goes to research for better treatments and finding a cure. It is my hope that someday there will be a cure so that no one will have to suffer with migraine disease. Miles for Migraine also organizes youth camps for teens who suffer from migraines.
Please support me as I walk for Miles for Migraine. This is a cause close to my heart. Every dollar counts and will help Miles for Migraine to continue to do the wondeful work they do. Online donations can be made on this site. For offline donations, please contact me or my parents. Thank you for your support.
Some Facts about Migraines:
In the U.S., more than 37 million people suffer from migraines. Some migraine studies estimate that 13 percent of adults in the U.S. population have migraines, and 2-3 million migraine suffers are chronic.
Migraine is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.
Migraine is the 6th most disabling illness in the world.
Chronic migraine affects approximately 2% of the world population.
Migraine often starts at puberty and most affects those aged between 35 and 45 years, but it can trouble much younger people including children.
Despite the number of people whose lives are impacted by migraine disease, migraine researach is majorly underfunded.
Facts from: migraine.com , The Migraine Trust, and The Migraine Research Foundation.
MILES FOR MIGRAINE wrote -
Do you live in a city or town too far from one of our current walks/runs but want to participate anyway? Walk or run with us virtually! A virtual walk/race is one that can be done at any location. You can walk, use the treadmill, run outside or participate in another race. You can walk/run your race at your pace wherever you like. You can fundraise first by collecting donations for yourself or your team, then register and we will send you a goody bag with a t-shirt and finisher medal ($100 minimum donation necessary/goody bag). Why Participate? In addition to pain, sickness and disability that is daily for many, migraine carries a severe burden of discrimination and negative feeling from many members of community. This is called stigma. History shows that diseases that are stigmatized, like HIV, breast cancer, and autism, can only change in the public’s mind when the patients and their families come together in community action asking for recognition. Diseases where the patients do not stand up for themselves remain badly stigmatized, and they do not get the research or treatments needed to effectively treat their condition. This is even true if doctors speak up for the disease. Unless patients and their families assume this effort, migraine cannot be re-framed. Patients with migraine very often do not have an opportunity to stand up for their disease, and thus themselves. They desperately need an opportunity to do something positive about the condition that they have. Basic psychology teaches us that if you do something positive in a group, you feel better about yourself. They also need a way to encourage their families and friends to participate for migraine, because doing something for someone else’s disease transforms attitudes toward that disease, and gives them an opportunity to learn about the scope of migraine. Migraine is the 3rd most common disease in the world, yet gets the least amount of research and funding. Migraine patients deserve research in order to find new treatments, and so that headache researchers and clinical specialists can be trained. Miles for Migraine does these things. And it does it by bringing patients together in community, while doing something that at the same time is good for your health. So please, WALK, RUN, VOLUNTEER or DONATE to MilesforMigraine.org Sincerely, Shirley Kessel, President Miles for Migraine