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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.

To help raise awareness about Migraine, please Tweet this post with the hash tags #NMAM and #NMAMBC and share it on your Facebook page. Thank you!

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

1. Bondy, Stefan. April 23, 2011. Miami Heat Guard Dwyane Wade Battles Migraine Headaches in Addition to 76ers in NBA Playoffs. Available at: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-04-23/sports/29484719_1_dwyane-wade-migraine-latest-headache. Accessed June 2012. 2. Munzenrieder, Kyle. January 26, 2011. LeBron James Pokes Fun at Dwyane Wade’s Migraine Glasses. Available at http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2011/01/lebron_james_pokes_fun_at_dwya.php. Accessed June 2012.

Comments

  • Elaine Gross
    7 years ago

    This doesn’t surprise me a bit. These guys mostly very driven, focused, and insensitive to anything that would interfere with their “endgame”. Remember the young lady who had the “audacity” to say she was raped by one of these star athletes? But, really I don’t know how a migraineur survives in that environment in those basketball courts. I went to my granddaughter’s volleyball tournament and it was sheer torture. The bright lights, the echoing sounds of screaming bouncing off the walls, the sounds of the running and shoes screeching on the floor. Referees blowing whistles. Also, all the yelling of the team, and the people in the stands. It seems like almost every trigger coming at you at once. It was awful. I don’t know how those athletes do it. I haven’t gone to another game, and I feel so bad about it, and I feel I’m really missing out too.

  • Melanie Symonds
    7 years ago

    I think you captured the effects of those indoor sports on the migraineur’s brain exactly.

  • Jodi Jackson Goebel
    7 years ago

    The person I choose is George Clooney. Althugh I have no idea if he has ever had a migraine in his life, he would be perfect for the cause. Women LOVE him, men would love to be him and he always makes headlines whereever he goes. Now if I were to choose someone that has migraines, it would be Lisa Kudrow. She has suffered for years with them and everyone knows who she is.

  • Gerry Fryer
    7 years ago

    1. Bring back Thomas Jefferson (or an actor playing him). Show him writing the Declaration of Independence and then being President while in the grip of migraine.
    2. Donald Trump. Have the great man of bluster subscribe to what it’s like to suffer from a disabling condition like migraine, and compassionately interview migraine sufferers.

  • Becca Johnson
    7 years ago
  • Becca Johnson
    7 years ago

    I didn’t even realize that when I read it or posted it. It is fantastic. Percy got a quite a bit of press in our local newspapers, also.

  • Diana Lee
    7 years ago

    That’s my article!

  • Becca Johnson
    7 years ago

    Percy Harvin with the Minnesota Vikings. Google him, there’s a ton about his public struggle with chronic migraines.

  • Markus A. Dahlem
    7 years ago

    Remember 1998? T. D. Super Bowl XXXII, when Terrell Davis forgot to take his migraine medication? He earned the MVP honors despite having to sit out the second quarter due to a migraine. Jerry Adler and Adam Rogers called this event “banner year for migraine awareness”.

    See here:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/1999/01/10/the-new-war-against-migraines.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrell_Davis

  • Tammy Stump
    7 years ago

    I agree, I have had to wear my sun glasses at work instead of going home to a dark room where I wanted to be. Oh yes I had jokes all day long about how cool I was. it was embarassing to say the least and disapointing because I work with “adult” who take care of people who are disabled.

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