Advocacy is in my blood. Headache disorders have dominated my life. There is no escaping them. If I must live with them all the time, then why not create something beautiful and productive as a result? I have a big mouth and a lot of opinions. Why not put that passion to climb on a soapbox to good use?
I started blogging in late 2011 to document my own experiences with migraine and cluster headaches. I had just entered a new phase of motivation to find better treatment for the disability that has plagued me all my life. Armed with determination and the encouragement of other advocates, I dove in.
Over time, I realized that blogging had become about more than just my own story. I wanted to let other patients know they were not alone. I also wanted to provide access to the best information about migraines and cluster headaches. Even though many of my colleagues provide this information, I believed I could offer a new perspective. As a former mental health counselor, my focus has been on the cognitive and emotional effects of headache disorders.
I believe that grassroots, patient-directed advocacy affects the way people view headache disorders. It puts pressure on government to allocate more funding for research. It also puts pressure on pharmaceutical companies to devote resources to improved treatments. In the long run, these efforts improve patients’ access to effective, affordable treatments. Advocacy speaks the truth. It gives hope and changes lives.