The Fun of Advocating for Migraine with My Preschooler

Have you participated in a migraine fundraiser? For years, I'd wanted to, but there was nothing in my area until Miles for Migraine expanded their Run/Walk/Relax events to include Boston in 2018.

What has my Miles for Migraine experience been?

I wanted to participate in 2018, but it was cancelled due to rain. In 2019 I was in postpartum haze and didn't remember to sign up. In 2020 I signed up to run the 5K, but we all know how that year ended! Luckily, I was able to run virtually and still raise money. In 2021 and 2022 I joined in person for the first time. Then in 2023 I was chosen to be the Race Ambassador. I was excited to share this experience with my husband, Paul, and my 5-year-old, Olivia.

Does my daughter understand migraine?

I don’t think Olivia fully understands what a migraine is yet, though she knows that sometimes I don’t feel well. One time she even brought me an ice pack from the freezer for my “headache,” though the gravity of that is not much different than her playing with her doctor kit to fix my pretend maladies. When I told her that I was going to help out at a race, I think she mainly thought about Lightning McQueen and a race car track - but anything to get her excited is good!

How was the beginning of the race?

On the morning of the race, I arrived early to help start greeting people, while Olivia and Paul spent a little time at a nearby playground. When they joined me at the site, Olivia waved and said hi to everyone she saw and gave out copious hugs - she was my Junior Ambassador!

Lisa stands next to her daughter at an awareness event.


How did she handle my speech?

When it was time for me to make announcements, she didn’t want to leave my side. I got the idea to let her hold extra pages of my script. As I finished reading a page, I handed it to her. Midway through she asked to hold the mic. “Sorry, you can’t have the mic,” I whispered, and the crowd giggled. When someone else was making a speech, she ran up to them and briefly interjected, getting yet another chuckle from the crowd.

Did she walk?

Paul and Olivia did the two mile walk while I stayed at the race site to help out. Olivia rode her scooter since that's pretty far on little legs, and she was cheering and waving to everyone along the way. Her enthusiasm was contagious. She made everyone she met feel welcome and supported.

Has my daughter attended events in the past?

In the past, I’d joined the races by myself, or just brought Olivia in the stroller. This was the first year I felt she fully participated. As a mother and migraine advocate, it brought a level of joy I haven’t felt before.

What's the plan for next year?

I'm already looking forward to next year's Miles for Migraine Walk/Run/Relax Event in Boston. I know that Olivia, Paul and I will be back, and we'll be bringing even more friends with us. And no matter my role in the event next year, I’ll have my Junior Ambassador with me!

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