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Hot Wings for Headache

By now you are familiar with the ALS “ice bucket” fundraising and awareness campaign. People have been posting videos of themselves accepting the challenge, sharing facts about ALS, and then challenging others to do the same. If you chicken out, then you donate to ALS research.

Not long after it started, migraine advocates wondered what it would take to raise that kind of awareness for migraines and headache disorders. Well guess what? Someone finally took action.

Dr. Dave Watson, director of the WVU Headache Center partnered with his colleagues to start Hot Wings for Headache and challenged others to do the same.

Here is how it works:
1. Choose a restaurant that serves hot wings.
2. Order and eat at least two of the hottest wings they offer.
3. Wait at least 30 seconds before drinking any water.
4. Then donate at least $20 the American Migraine Foundation.
5. If you “chicken out” or can’t for health reasons, then donate $50.
6. Record a video and post it on your favorite social media. Add a link to the comments below, too.
7. Make sure to share the details of the challenge and explain why you have accepted the challenge including:

  • The name of the patient in whose honor you are accepting the challenge
  • One or two facts about under-funding and stigma related to migraine and other headache disorders.
  • Then publicly call out other to take the challenge.

Here is your chance to help raise awareness about migraines, bust some myths, and fight stigma. I’ve already scheduled a time to meet the challenge and called out a lot of friends. We can’t do everything, but each of us can do something.

Watch the video for more details.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Gail
    5 years ago

    I thought that instantly as well, Jesienskok! I also think you can’t ride the coat tails of the ice bucket challenge. Kind of a been there, done that..oh no now everyone with a cause is going to be doing a challenge on Facebook sort of thing. Of course as a migraine sufferer I want to help with research $ and find answers..but that was my reaction.

  • Vanessa
    5 years ago

    I agree Jesienskok. I can’t eat a lot of things because of monosodium glutamate being a trigger for me. I thought that the ice bucket challenge was intended to cause the person being dumped on to feel what ALS is like but in order to duplicate the migraine, maybe it should be a sledgehammer to the head challenge that would be good.

  • Jesienskok
    5 years ago

    Ok-heads up- this may offend ppl… But I am all kinds of turned off by this “hot wings for headaches” because really spicy things are a trigger for a lot of people! I don’t know, am I being too sensitive? Maybe? But I love hot wings and cannot enjoy them! I just wonder how many other ppl read this challenge and thought that instantly as well?? Anyone??

  • Kelly, FlyWithHope
    5 years ago

    I find it heartbreaking to read Migraine/headache sufferers being critical of anyone doing something for Migraine/Headache Disorders awareness which is something we desperately need. If we can’t support each other, how can we expect anyone to support us as a community? I can’t eat “hot wings” as I have many food sensitivities and food Migriane triggers, but that doesn’t keep me from promoting Migraine/headache disorder awareness in my own way. Maybe you could modify the challenge and do a video on how “hot wings for headaches” doesn’t work for you because it is a Migraine trigger. That would be an awesome way to contribute! Let’s promote awareness together.

  • Patchwork
    5 years ago

    Just a heads up that the link to the American Migraine Foundation website in this article isn’t working.

  • JB Harris moderator
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the heads up, Patchwork. The link has been corrected.

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