Migraine Awareness Month #10: Celebrity Migraine Spokesperson

Here at Migraine.com we're participating in the National Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge during the month of June. All of the patient advocates are taking turns to cover the prompts, and today is my turn.

Today's Blogging Challenge prompt is: Name the Spokesperson. Choose any celebrity to represent Migraine (whether they have Migraine or not) who would it be and why?"

I'm of the view that a professional athlete who lives with migraine disease could be the perfect celebrity face of migraine. Despite being some of the healthiest, fit and disciplined people on earth, even these amazingly talented athletes who live with migraine find themselves unable to perform at their usual level when experiencing a migraine attack.

One of the most well known professional athletes who lives with migraine is NBA player Dwyane Wade, who plays for the Miami Heat.

In 2011 D-Wade's migraine attacks were keeping him off the court during one of the most inopportune times to be out of commission: the NBA playoffs. By donning a pair of googles to block light, his main migraine trigger, D-Wade was able to practice with the team and was set to return to game play. Unfortunately the NBA pitched a fit about the goggles, claiming they would give him an unfair advantage because his opponents wouldn't be able to see his eyes while he was wearing them. How relatable is that for all of us living with migraine disease? So many of us find ourselves battling employers, teachers, family members, etc. to get them to understand how essential these kinds of tools are for us to be able to perform in our lives. The NBA agreed he could wear a different pair of goggles, but to me the whole situation was just stupid. The man has a diagnosed medical condition and needed an accommodation. He clearly wasn't trying to get over on anyone. He'd never had a chance to practice in the goggles they agreed he could wear and they weren't the same tint as the pair that helped him the most. He definitely knows what it's like for your employer to not "get" migraine disease.

He had to deal with his team poking fun at the goggles, too. We all know his teammate Lebron James is a kidder and a fun guy, but when he said D-Wade looked silly in his goggles it kind of cut me to hear that. I don't know about you guys, but I've had people I highly respect poke fun at me for wearing my sunglasses inside, thinking I thought I was too cool. It's hard when it feels like people close to you just don't get it. Even worse, head coach Erik Spoelstra made fun of them, too. Way to set the tone for your team, Coach. Migraines just aren't funny.

I have no doubt D-Wade's involvement in migraine advocacy would raise the profile of migraine disease and help educate millions of people about what we deal with in living with migraine disease. Now I just wonder how in the world we could convince him to do it!

What celebrity do you think would be a good spokesperson for migraine disease awareness?

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.

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