Toni Vadala’s Advocacy Story
Toni Vadala’s advocacy story is written and told by Toni Vadala and edited by the Miles for Migraine team. Miles for Migraine’s Advocacy Stories highlights the many different ways that health advocacy shows up as individuals advocate for themselves and others. This project is not limited to migraine and other headache disorders, nor is it limited to individuals that personally experience a health condition.
Toni Vadala’s Advocacy Story
For most of my life, I have lived with migraine. There were no prescription meds, no special interventions for the pain, just “existence” with over the counter medications. The pain became too much. I spoke up and was given Imitrex, eight pills per month. I was supposed to use it sparingly. Because of that, I felt trapped with migraine and a sense of helplessness.
Years went by, as I coped alone, with the misery of migraine. Then, I stumbled upon a Miles for Migraine support group. I joined it and started listening to the migraine journeys of others. I was no longer alone with migraine. Then, I began to think about my own journey and all that I had and continued to endure. My support group friends encouraged me to advocate for myself by taking the migraine and lassoing it by its tail feathers and to seek justice for my years of suffering in silence.
No More Silence!
My journey towards healing and advocacy had begun. I visited a neurologist and was prescribed new preventative and rescue medications. I
was also given injections into my head. Migraine has not left me, however, I am now in control of my treatment. No more silence!
Tell your Advocacy Story
Do you have a story to tell like Toni Vadala’s advocacy story? What is one of the most memorable advocacy experiences in your headache disease journey/daily life? Try to recall a time when you practiced advocacy. Perhaps you shared your story, posted on social media, or attended an advocacy event such as Headache on the Hill or a Miles for Migraine event. Looking back on that experience, what did you notice? Did you experience a negative moment such as shame, stigma, or a positive moment such as joy, hope, or relief? If there was conflict, did you resolve it or was it a conflict that still affects you today? If the outcome was positive, how did that make you feel? Did the outcome cause you to advocate again for yourself? How has your most memorable story shaped you today? There is no right or wrong way to share your story.
Are you inspired by these advocacy stories and want to donate to Miles for Migraine? All or part of your donation may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution. Please consult with your tax advisor. Funds raised help with our operational costs so that we can continue to produce races and youth camp events. Money raised through donations and race registrations goes directly to medical organizations researching migraine.
Migraine, is a complex and often disabling neurological disease, affecting nearly 40 million Americans. Studies have shown that roughly one out of every six Americans and one in five women self-reported migraine. While anyone can have a migraine, women, especially those between the ages of 20 and 45, account for three out of four people…
How did you get involved with Miles for Migraine? I saw the flyer for the Philadelphia Miles for Migraine race on the desk of my headache specialist. I was so excited that something like this existed for migraine disease. I went by myself to the race. It was a thrill to meet and talk to…