Migraine Manifest Destiny

Back when the US was a fledgling nation, a phenomenon occurred that history books call “westward expansion.” Pioneers in search of religious freedom, wealth, independence, land ownership, and growing room headed west into unknown territory. These courageous individuals braved countless hardships along the way and many lost their lives. Ultimately, people began to believe that our nation was destined to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean. That belief was called Manifest Desitiny.

Whether you believe in the concept or not, it is clear that this dream inspired millions to step outside their comfort zones and take off to settle in unknown lands. The US owes its current size to those brave individuals.

The pioneer spirit is still alive and well.

Just a few years ago, a handful of courageous doctors and patients had a vision to raise money for migraine and headache research. They wanted to be part of the solution rather than simply complain about the problem.  That’s how Runnin’ for Research was born. It started as the brainchild of Dr. Dave Watson, director of the WVU Headache Center with a single event in Morgantown, WV. Last year, the race expanded westward to Louisville, KY. This year, a third race has been added in Kansas City. In just a few short years, Runnin’ for Research has become its own 501(c)3 non-profit organization with races in three cities.

Westward, ho!

Runnin’ for Research started on the east coast in what was once one of the original 13 colonies. It then expanded westward into the land of Davy Crockett. Now it has crossed the Mississippi into the land originally purchased from France in the Louisiana Purchase.

Kansas City, here we come!

This is my hometown, so when I learned that Runnin’ for Research was coming here, I could barely contain my excitement. A quick email to Dave Watson put me in touch with Jennifer Bickel and the rest is history. Dr. Bickel is Kanas City’s only board-certified headache specialist and Director of Comprehensive Headache Clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She and a team of volunteers (including me!) are working hard to make our first event a huge success.

Become a migraine pioneer.

Runnin’ for Research events are held every year in October and feature a 5K competitive race, a non-competitive 1 mile walk, and a virtual runner option for those who cannot attend. This makes it very easy for anyone, anywhere to be part of the solution.

Last year, I participated as a Virtual Runner in the Morgantown, WV race. This year, my feet will be on the trail, walking that mile to raise money for migraine research. I am overweight, out-of-shape, and have a bad knee, but I am committed to doing this because it’s going to take every single one of us to make a difference. I am stepping outside of my comfort zone (a comfy recliner in my living room) to change the world for migraine patients everywhere.

Share our vision

Last year we raised over $17,000 for migraine research. That money was presented to the American Migraine Foundation at the 2016 AHS Scientific Meeting. Let’s make it over $25,000 this year! For more details, you can visit Runnin’ for Research or register for an event in Morgantown, Louisville, or Kansas City.

Be a pioneer this fall. Step outside your comfort zone. Become part of the solution for better migraine treatments and the search for the cure.


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.
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