By Katie MacDonald
Since there isn’t a Miles for Migraine event that takes place in my area, I needed to come up with my own way to participate. I am a huge supporter of the Miles for Migraine organization. I greatly admire all that they are doing to increase awareness about Migraine and reduce the stigma many of us feel. They are working on fundraising to support more research and they support the advocacy efforts of organizations like Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy. I wanted to find a way to be a part of their magic and I did that in a unique way this spring.
I am not a runner. Similar to many other people with Migraine, running just doesn’t work for me. Ironically, my closest circle of friends is a group of people who love to run and they have told me that when a Miles for Migraine event comes to our area, they would be sure to participate. As we got to brainstorming one night, we thought, “What if there was a way to collect donations for partaking in an event of my choosing and funneling those donations back to Miles for Migraine?” Lots of people sign up for organized 5K “fun runs” in their communities, what if they could use one of those runs as their own personal Miles for Migraine run? I reached out to Shirley with this idea and a few months later the Miles for Migraine Virtual Race option was born.
This spring my boyfriend Dave, an avid runner, decided to do the Vermont City Marathon. We decided to make this our Miles for Migraine Virtual Race. I helped him by getting set up with a Crowdrise account (https://www.crowdrise.com/miles-for-migraine—virtual-), wrote a personal description of why this was important to us and set our fundraising goal. We sent an email out to our immediate family and closest friends and shared the link to our Crowdrise page on Facebook as well. Dave declared that if I could manage Migraine on a near daily basis, he could take care of the running a few miles on my behalf. His pain would be temporary, mine… not so much. This felt like a great partnership to me. I was still greatly involved in the process of educating others about Migraine, advocating about the need for more research and funding as well as supporting Dave on race day, but I didn’t have to physically run myself.
Miles for Migraine is continuing to expand the number of cities that they are holding their events in. In the meantime, don’t be held back. If there is no event in your area, make your own Virtual event. If you aren’t up for your own run or walk, ask a friend or relative if they would be willing to do an event on your behalf.