Why I’ve joined up with Miles for Migraine and Increased My Advocacy

I recently got a flashback of one of  my first posts ever.  It was super exciting to see how far I’ve come and how I’m meeting my goals from  4 years ago.  This post explains how I want to help children and be part of a charity that raises funds for migraine and lowers stigma.

I’m proud to say I’ve found it and I AM saying “Wow, look how far we’ve come.”  If you see me post about Miles for Migraine it’s because I feel strongly that it is making a financial and community difference.

After the 2 races we  participated in, Team My Migraine Life raised $2,192.91.

I was asked to give my patient perspective at both races.  I also donated 9 inches of my hair between this time!  We  raised funds, raised awareness and lowered stigma for migraine.  My children were at both events to hear me speak and are not only learning about their mom at each event but how it affects so many others!  We will be the ones to make change and we will be the ones to pave the way for a less painful stigmatized future.  I’m so proud!

Check out a post I wrote in the first week ever of blogging…..

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Miles for Migraine Cincinnati Results 2018 race/walk

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This weekend, I was part of Miles for Migraine race in Cincinnati.  It was a beautiful and warm day filled with love, support and a group of people fighting stigma and raising money for Migraine and headache disorders.

 

 

The race raised $3,550

Team My Migraine Life raised $567.37.  Thank you to all those who donated.

We were the top team!!! I’m so proud of us 🙂

The day began with fighting a 3 day migraine that I had traveled with but had huge inspiration to make it to the event.  When I got there, I was surrounded with some migraine advocate powerhouses.
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Michelle Tracy, Migraine Warrior, represented the INVisible project with her smiling face and sharing her inspiring personal stories. She also spoke to the group about being a patient advocate and how we can all be one ourselves.

Not only is Michelle an amazing and strong advocate but she was brave enough to sing the National Anthem to begin our race.  She has a strong voice as a patient and as a singer!

Katie Golden, GoldenGraine, brought sparkle to all of our days.  She is the senior contributing writer to the INVisble Project and a fierce advocate.  I can’t possibly list all of the things she is doing for the migraine and pain community but check her out and follow along.  She was kind enough to run the race with my daughter and then touch up her sparkles…..because there is no such thing as too much glitter!

IMG_3555 I once again gave my patient perspective.  I was shaky and read my speech because I could not guarantee that I could string my words together and make sense.  I felt so proud that I stood up to the pain and was able to put a face on what migraine disease really looks like.

We also heard from Dr. Andrew Hershey, the chair and director of the division of neurology at Cincinnati Children’s. He is a professor of pediatrics and neurology.

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After that, we walked.  At the Miles for Migraine events you are welcome to run and be a fierce competitor, walk and enjoy your team or stay at the tents to mingle or relax.  It’s all about building community, moving how you can and raising funds so we all can live a healthier life.

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The best part of the day was being with the ones that I love.  Spending a morning for a good cause with good people is always a great way start to the day.  I woke up in pain, shaky, sick and not sure if I could make it.  Thanks to effective medication, endorphins and a bit of luck, I was able to enjoy the day.  I walked with some of our best friends, my husband and our mini me’s.  It was a day that we  plan on turning into a tradition.

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Wondering about the Brain Hat? The Brain Hat Society is for people with migraine, their caregivers, friends and family while recognizing  their heroic efforts.  If you raise $50 you can be a member.  Purple is for migraine sufferers and pink is for the caregivers and loved ones.

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Thank you to all that supported and continue to fight.  We are fighting not just for ourselves but for future generations.

IMG_3582Also, a BIG thank you to the sponsors and these hard working ladies!  Shirley Kessel is the Miles for Migraine president while Katie MacDonald oversees operations.  They work tirelessly on bringing these events to more cities and raising funds to benefit so many.

Check to see if Miles for Migraine is coming to your city and how you can participate virtually!

 

 

 

 

 

The Start to Migraine Awareness Month and Miles for Migraine walk/run in Cincinnati

Happy June!  Today marks the first day of Migraine Awareness Month!!!

I know a lot of you are thinking, “But how can I help?”  This month I will be sharing information and advocacy opportunities from a variety of migraine organizations that I am involved with and follow. I can’t wait for you to get involved also.

The simplest way to participate is sharing information, following on all social media and virtually “making some noise.”  Share with your followers how you suffer, important information and help break down the stigma.

To start the month out, I’d like to ask for your donation and participation with an organization that you’ve heard me talk about…..Miles for Migraine.

Miles for Migraine vision is ” to create some “big noise” in the migraine community and raise awareness that migraine and headache disorders are more than “a headache”. We are making great strides by growing our signature event, the Miles for Migraine 2-Mile walk, 5K/10K run; and by expanding our newer programs –  a day camp for adolescents who have  chronic migraine, and our adult seminar series”

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On June 10, the Cincinnati walk/run will be at Otto Armleder Memorial Park

How can you participate?

There are a few ways to support:

  1.  Join My Migraine Life Team.  If you live close enough to walk/run, please join my team!  I’d love to see you there.  Go here and join team C0F0B55B-F24F-4204-9928-E32EFED679D8.JPG
  2. If you’d like to donate and support my fundraising efforts but won’t be able to make the walk, go here and donate A9A554EE-1C69-463A-9846-ACD72F425E9D
  3. If you are unable to walk/run but want to participate.
    1. If you are local and want to participate but are unable to walk/run we’d love for you to come anyways!  Join my team and come to meet all the wonderful advocates and migraine supporters.  There will be a quiet tent to rest and you are not obligated to walk.  Your donation and presence is much appreciated!  We are all doing what we can do and any effort are spoons well spent. 30A7FB9F-D0E4-41D7-A0E1-9DA39E84FE15.JPG
    2. If you don’t live locally but would like to support.  Please donate to my page and participate virtually.  You can walk and raise money without being at an event.  Join the team and ask others to help raise funds.
    3. Ask a friend, co worker or loved one to help you raise money.  You’ll be surprised at how many are affected by migraine and are happy to help make a difference.
  4. If you want to donate but don’t have the funds.  I totally get it.  Between the price of medications and therapies and difficulty with keeping a job, it can be even harder to donate.  Remember that $10 makes a difference.  Each dollar goes a long way and any donation takes us a step closer to helping many!
  5. If none of these are an option, please share this post.  Sharing is caring and if you can’t support maybe a friend can.  It’s all about not being alone and spreading a message.  Everyone can share!

Please consider donating to My Migraine Life team and my personal fundraiser page.  Follow along on all social media and share, share, share this month.  Teaching your audience/social media followers how strong you are to be fighting migraine for yourself or for others will go really far.

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Miles for Migraine race/walk Cincinnati 2018 with My Migraine Life

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Please join us on June 10, 2018 for the inaugural Cincinnati Walk/Run

Date/Time: Sunday June 10, 2018 8:30 AM
Location: Otto Armleder Memorial Park
Distance: 2 Mile Walk / 5K Run / 10k Run

 

“Miles for Migraine is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit with the mission of improving the lives of migraine patients and their families, raising public awareness about headache disorders, and helping find a cure for migraine. Miles for Migraine produces fun walk/run events, typically 2 mile walk and 5k and 10k race to raise money for migraine research. We also host youth camps for kids and teens impacted by migraine or other headache disorders.”

This years Cleveland’s race was such a success and I hope to make Cincinnati’s inaugural walk/run the same.  Here’s some highlights:

To sign up to the Cincinnati walk/run please follow these directions:

Follow this link

If you are donating:  click on  “donate to participant” on left side bar

  • Look up name: Sarah Rathsack and donate to my page 🙂

If you are registering: “view teams” on left side bar

  • Join team My Migraine Life

If you donate or register, in general, I will not get credit for my referral.  Miles for Migraine tracks their top fundraisers and referrals.  Please donate to my page or join team My Migraine Life to give our great community a voice and show how  united My Migraine Lifers can be.  Whether it’s for you, a family member, a friend or co workers.  You are fighting and walking to make a difference.  Your support is so appreciated!!!!!!

 

*Please notify me if you have donated or joined our team!  I would like to thank you personally and know that your donation has gone to my page and team.  I really am grateful for your consideration!!!

A9A554EE-1C69-463A-9846-ACD72F425E9DThank You

 

Patient Perspective on My Migraine Life

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I was asked to tell my patient perspective  on having migraine at the Miles for Migraine inaugural walk/run in Cleveland.  In the speech, I named my support system “My Migraine Lifers.” I feel honored to be a voice for all of us who live our Migraine Lives and all of those who fight by our sides.

Thank you Katie.  And thank you Miles for Migraine for putting on this event.  It feels so good to be among such migraine fighters.  Migraines are typically fought in the dark and in the quiet. Today we are stepping out and putting a face on what we often fight behind closed doors and I’m so excited to be here.

I think it’s amazing how all of our stories are so different, yet we have some things in common:

I’ve thrown up 3 times on my way to work with a migraine and had my boss tell me he “had a headache too.”

I know I’m not the only one who fights this stigma.

I’ve lost friendships and missed events both big and small.

I know I’m not the only one who hopes for better understanding.

I’ve spent endless money on medications, products, therapies and anything that promised the smallest amount of relief.

I know I’m not the only one looking for lifestyle changes and better treatment options.

I’ve been judged and by no one more than myself.  The guilt, sadness, anxiety, “what ifs” add up for us all.

But This is why we are here today. To break down the stigma, to help others and to say thank you to all those who support us.

I’ve had Migraines since I was 5.  I don’t have many stages of my life that I don’t recall how they affected me.  Both of my grandmothers and my mom suffered from Migraine.  We had an idea of what it may be but had no idea of the difficult journey that lay ahead.

After years of searching for why I felt so awful, Dr. Reed was the first doctor to make me feel like I wasn’t crazy.  She didn’t promise a cure, because there isn’t one.  But she promised to help and join my fight and her whole office did.

After all of these years, I have learned to be thankful every day.  I have gained gratitude and there is nothing I am more grateful for than “My Migraine Lifers.”

I write a blog named “My Migraine Life.”  I tell my stories, share information and bring together a community of My Migraine Lifers.  With more than 36 Million people suffering from Migraine, everyone knows someone in their life who suffers.

My life feels like it is dictated by my migraines but I live a happy, blessed life because of all of these people.

It’s the group I have gathered over all of these years and the ones who suffer and fight right beside me.  It’s my babies, my husband, my parents, my sister and nieces, my friends, my coworkers, my doctors and the migraine community.  They are here with me today and if you look around they are here with you.

My advocacy hasn’t decreased my migraines or made them better.  I would love to tell you something different.  But what it has done, is brought a clearer picture of how if effects my life, how it affects others and how we can work together to be happier and healthier.

We all struggle, we all need understanding, and we all need support.

Thank you all for being here today on this really cold morning.

It’s not just about me or my fellow migraine warriors.

It’s about ALL of us.

I appreciate you all for taking steps in YOUR Migraine Life and supporting Miles for Migraine.

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With Dr. Reed, a neurologist who fought by my side for many years.  She was instrumental in getting Miles for Migraine to Cleveland and was asked to speak as a doctor’s perspective.

 

Cleveland Migraine Walk/Run Results and Accomplishments 2018 with Miles for Migraine

 

This weekend was Miles for Migraine inaugural walk/run in Cleveland.  It was a great success due to all of the generous donations!!!  Thank you for all of the support!

The donations

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At time of post…

Total donations: $3,831

My Migraine Life team: $1,519

Due to everyone’s support, my team was the top fundraisers and I was  acknowledged as the top person to raise money for this event.  Once again….THANK YOU!!!

Announcements, doctor and patient perspectives

 

 

Before the race, Katie MacDonald, our coordinator, gave a speech reminding us all why we were there.

Dr. Reed followed her opening announcements by expressing how she is motivated as a neurologist and fellow runner.  She was instrumental in bringing Miles for Migraine to Cleveland and sets the example of how a doctor can make a difference inside the office and takes running strides towards making a difference outside of it.  I have seen first hand what she can do as a doctor.  She was my neurologist for close to 10 years and her office saw me through a wedding, 2 children, many difficult years of stressful work and beyond.  It was a special day to be honored next to someone who has fought along side me all those years.

Then I gave my patient perspective.  I was asked to speak because of the influence I have had with My Migraine Life.  I started writing my blog less than 4 years ago and could not have dreamed where it would take me.  It feels so good to be helping people all over the world through my blog while helping people in my community and making connections in person.  It felt great to thank all those who have inspired me and made my quality of life possible.  Without them helping me, I could not help others.

What makes you go the extra mile? The walk that turned into a run for some. #MoretoMigraine

 

 

A board was set up to say why “you go the extra mile.”  The response turned into beautiful family pictures and amazing encouragement.

We were all set to walk the race and the younger members of our group decided to run.  Thank you to my sister and mom who then unexpectedly ran also.  I hung out with my friends and their stroller and took a lovely walk through the chilly yet scenic woods.

My Migraine Life team!!!

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Regardless if we walked or ran, we were all winners!  My Migraine life team was a true example of how I am surrounded by love and support.  My boss and her family (husband who fights post head trauma migraine), my childhood friend (who manages sports induced and trigger oriented migraine) and her adorable family, my mom (migraine fighter for herself and me), sister, nieces, and brother in law (who don’t have migraine but certainly have stepped up to help me in every aspect of my life), my husband (who has never wavered in his fight for me) and my babies (the reason I won’t allow defeat).

I’m  not sure, but I think we also had the biggest and cutest team also!!!!

Thank you again to all of those who supported Miles for Migraine.  Thank you to my fellow walkers/runners.  Without you, I wouldn’t be able to work, live, survive or smile without you.  You are all great lights in my life!

To those of you who donated and shared on social media….thank you!  A lot of you I don’t see often.  I know you wonder, pray, and support me from afar as I do you.  I could feel the love pouring in whether you were there or not.  It was a cold day in Cleveland but the sun shone on the event with warmth and light due to you all!

Miles for Migraine Walk in Cleveland 2018

There is less than a week left before Miles for Migraine comes to Cleveland.  This fundraiser is an amazing opportunity to bring awareness to Migraine and headache disorders along with raising funds to help improve the lives of those who sufferer and their families.

Interested in donating?  Go here

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Available to walk April 21, 2018?  Join us at South Mastick Park at 9:00am. Register here

THANK YOU