Community Health Leaders
Last updated: May 2023
In order to bring the voice of the patient dealing with migraine disease, Migraine.com brings you frequent articles, blogs, points of view and advice from health leaders.
Each of these individuals are impacted by migraine, yet they have chosen not to let the disease run their lives.
Read and learn from their unique perspectives.
Migraine health leaders
Peggy lives in Nashville, TN. She has a B.S. degree in psychology and sociology. After trying several types of jobs, she found her niche in the field of community banking, assisting clients with complying with laws and regulations. Her migraines started in childhood, but since they didn't look like the migraine attacks children usually have, doctors didn't have any idea she was having migraines. Read more.
Lisa Benson is an artist, writer, and community volunteer. She sculpts using clay and plaster and also works doing sculpture restoration. She had undiagnosed migraines since she was a child, and finally received the diagnosis in late 2011 when she started to suffer from chronic migraines. Lisa likes to inspire and educate using writing, art, and graphics. Read more.
Nancy Harris Bonk is a Patient Leader who has the honor and privilege of working with patients to empower themselves to take an active role in their healthcare. Nancy has lived with migraine disease since her teens. Read more.
Alene L. Brennan, RYT
Alene is a certified Nutrition Coach, Natural Food Chef and Yoga Instructor supporting those living with migraines and autoimmune disease. She combines her education with her first hand experience of debilitating migraines as well a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis at age 36. Alene takes a "Less Pharm, More Table" approach to empower individuals to live a vibrant life independent of their diagnosis. Read more.
Rebecca is 52-year-old who completed her education at Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, receiving a B.F.A. in modern dance 1995 from SUNY. Her early dance training, father’s love of poetry and music, and mother’s piano playing have inspired an unabridged love of the arts, and are instrumental in nurturing her unique artistic talents over the years. Read more.
Erica Carrasco, aka Achy Smile, lives with hemiplegic migraine, a subtype of migraine with aura that mimics stroke and epilepsy. She also lives with migrainous corpalgia affecting the left side of her body, fibromyalgia, PCOS, degenerative disc disease, osteopenia, a symptomatic fatty liver, and underwent a full hysterectomy and oophorectomy under 40 years old due to adenomyosis.
Adriane Dellorco (RYT200) is the founder of Yoga for Migraine and has been living with migraine since 2007. Yoga for Migraine offers transformational online yoga and coaching programs to people living with migraine and headache disorders. Read more.
Tracy Hannigan, MOstMed, ACE-HC
Tracy is an osteopath in the UK, and helps people with migraine in her healthcare clinic using manual therapy. Using her psychology background, she also supports people in developing strategies to identify triggers and coping strategies early in the development of migraines. Read more.
Born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC, Holly majored in dance in college and also played in several bands and toured the country as a singer. Migraines started for Holly at the age of 6 and ramped up in frequency and severity in her 30’s. Read more.
Ashley S. Hattle is a medical and fiction writer who has episodic cluster headaches and status migraines. She’s the author of Cluster Headaches: A Guide to Surviving One of the Most Painful Conditions Known to Man. The book is a comprehensive guidebook on the potential causes of cluster headaches, treatments, PTSD, and includes interviews with patients, doctors, and countless research studies. Read more.
This is Tonya Henry. She's originally from North Carolina, but from the military, she's made her home in Texas. She has two adult children and two small grandchildren. Her migraines started while in the military. She was not officially diagnosed with migraine though, until being hospitalized in 2005. Read more.
Tonilyn has always preferred writing in her room to playing kick-ball outside. Her humorous self-help book "How to Raise a Husband" is available where books are sold. Tonilyn’s essays on relationships, parenting, and migraines, have been seen in The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Harper's Baazar, Elle, and Woman's Day. Read more.
Laura Kiesel is a freelance writer/journalist and patient advocate living in the Boston area. She has written on health-and disability-related topics for many well-known media outlets including The Guardian, the Washington Post, Vice, Vox, Self, Salon, Healthline, Headspace, Harvard Health blog and others. Read more.
Shoshana Lipson is the President of Hope in Pain, Inc. and the Executive Director of Migraine Meanderings™ and Hope for Migraine™. She is a patient advocate, speaker, and writer with a passion to encourage, support, educate and inspire people with migraine and other chronic pain conditions to find purpose and value in the midst of chronic illness. Read more.
Sawyer’s journey hasn’t been without its obstacles. His senior year of high school saw the first of many migraines which have tried to threaten his love of the stage. This first migraine with aura became a calling card that his body would show him every time it felt like shutting down. Read more.
LaQuinda McCoy worked as a Licensed Vocational Nurse on the Liver Transplant floor for twelve years. In 2019 she began sharing her story to local businesses to help improve workplace conditions for those living with Migraines. Read more.
Marina is the founder of Parenting With Migraine, a blog and Instagram community for parents with migraine. Marina was diagnosed with migraine in her teens. However, the diagnosis progressed to chronic migraine when she had children. She is a patient advocate helping others feel less alone while living with this debilitating disorder. Read more.
Amanda Osowski is a wife and mother living and working in Chicago, IL. After earning a Masters Degree in Public Health, Amanda worked in clinical trial recruitment, specializing in breaking down barriers between patients and enrollment into clinical research. Read more.
Cheryl is originally from New Jersey and moved with her family to Florida when she was four so she considers herself a Floridian. She is married 30 years this year to her husband, they have 3 grown daughters and two grandchildren. Read more.
Tom Picerno was born in Huntington NY. He moved to Florida when he was in elementary school. Currently, he lives with his wife, Cheryl, married 29 years in Florida. He has three grown children and two grands. He enjoys cooking, fishing, writing and spending time with his family. Read more.
Sarah is the creator and advocate behind My Migraine Life. She shares her stories, reviews products, discusses treatments, and details her life with migraine disease. You’ll see her at Miles for Migraine events, rocking her Shades for Migraine sunglasses, advocating for Migraine at School, Headache on the Hill, and Retreat Migraine. Read more.
Now in her early 40s, Kerrie has had chronic migraine since she was 11. She's been writing about migraine and headache disorders on her blog, The Daily Headache, since 2005. Kerrie is also the cofounder of TheraSpecs, which makes eyewear for migraine and photophobia relief. Read more.
Laura Wheatman Hill
Laura Wheatman Hill has had migraines with and without aura since she was twelve. At Willamette University, she double majored in theatre with a directing emphasis and English. She got her masters of arts in teaching from there and taught high school and middle school for the statistically appropriate amount of time before leaving to go freelance. Read more.
Anna Williams began experiencing headaches in childhood, but went undiagnosed. In her early 20's, she was diagnosed with migraine disease. She graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. Read more.
Amanda Workman is a wife, step-mom to four kids, and a dog mom to two rotten furbabies in South Texas. Spending most of her childhood and teenage years with episodic migraine, she became chronic in 2009 while finishing a double bachelor’s degree at Houston Baptist University. Read more.
Joanna is an assistant professor of sociology and a member of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Her research focuses on areas where medicine, science, politics and gender collide. Read more.
Dr. William Young is a neurologist at the Jefferson Headache Center. He received his medical degree from Penn State College of Medicine and has been in practice for 30 years. Read more.
Former health leaders
Temi Aiyegbusi is a recent college graduate and student-athlete as a member of the Men’s Basketball team from the University of Connecticut where he studied Kinesiology with emphasis on Exercise Science and optimizing health, wellness, and performance. He now works as a Research Assistant at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio with aspirations to go to medical school. Read more.
Migraines entered the picture early but worsened and were officially diagnosed after Bill got sick with meningitis. Shortly thereafter, Bill made a career change. Read more.
After seeing her mom suffer from migraines for many years (her mom’s migraines started at age 8), Karen had a bit of secondhand knowledge of what it is like to live with migraines. Read more.
Gretchen Church began having Migraines at the ripe old age of 20 years old. 30 years later the doctors have officially diagnosed her with Chronic Migraine syndrome. Read more.
Maria De Leon
Long before Maria De León’s love affair with Parkinson’s began, she was already on her way to becoming migraines expert, having lived with them since childhood. But, it wasn’t until her first year in college when the stress triggered a full blown migraine causing hemiplegia and visual disturbance that a name was officially given. Read more.
Billy Dwyer is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Illinois and received his Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a concentration in “Leadership and Social Change.” Billy’s currently works for his Member of Congress, where he serves as a liaison to federal agencies on behalf of constituents and represents the office at events throughout the congressional district. Prior to this job, Billy worked with a mental health non-profit, refugee resettlement agency, and professional association. Read more.
Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Anna Eidt (pronounced ah-ee-t) was raised on salty air, second-hand shopping, and song. She moved to Ontario to study singing, and finally landed in Toronto with the job of her dreams as a high school music teacher and choral conductor. But of course, not all well-laid plans stay lying, and shortly after a bicycle accident (face, meet pavement), chronic migraine entered the picture. Read more.
Jennette Fulda has suffered from New Daily Persistent Headache since February 17, 2008. She chronicled her search for a cure and eventual acceptance of her chronic illness in the book “Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away.” Read more.
Janet "The Migraine Girl" Geddis
Bookshop owner & migraineur Janet "The Migraine Girl" Geddis moved around a bit in her early 20s before deciding to make Athens, Georgia her home. Read more.
Katie began suffering from episodic Migraines at age 5 that turned chronic at age 30. Her personal mission statement is "Living a More Fulfilled Life While Managing Chronic Migraines." She believes in a balance of medication and self-healing measures such as yoga and deep-breathing to manage her chronic disease. Read more.
Sarah Hackley is the author of "Preparing to Fly", a personal finance book for women leaving abusive partners, "Finding Happiness with Migraines: A Do It Yourself Guide", and the Amazon women's poetry bestseller "The Things We Lose". Read more.
Liz Hiles joined the Migraine.com community as a moderator in March 2021. Having suffered from headaches since childhood, she was diagnosed with migraines in her early 30s. She was mostly able to manage her migraines with over-the-counter meds, hydration. Read more.
Kelly was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 3 days after her 17th birthday. She’s passionate about helping others with IBD & other medical conditions. She also lives with RA, Hemiplegic Complex Migraines and other health conditions. Read more.
Marci Kallick is a patient advocate who believes we all, as patients, must stand up and protect our health through education. After her own personal experience not getting the answers she was seeking, she turned to resources online such as Health Union and its’ community sites for support. Through community and informational websites, patients are able to take control of their own health journey, lessening the grip illness has on their daily lives. Read more.
Kyky Renee Knight is a moderator and contributor for Migraine.com, and has lived with Migraine disease since she was a child. It wasn’t until adulthood that she was first medically described as having Migraine disease with aura. Read more.
Diana Lee is a blogger, lawyer & health advocate who's been disabled by Chronic Migraine. She's passionate about educating patients & combating stigma. Read more.
Annie has lived with Migraine Disease since she was six years old, but wasn't diagnosed until thirty-five years later. She struggles with living a 'normal' life while finding her way through corporate America. Read more.
Khalid is a Moderator and Content Contributor for Migraine.com. At the age of 12, Khalid started experiencing severe headaches which were accompanied by nausea, photosensitivity, and auras. Doctors initially dismissed his symptoms as “growing pains,” but eventually a Neurologist would formally diagnose him with migraine. The medications affected his schoolwork and concentration, and after falling asleep during an algebra exam he decided to come off his meds (he loves math!). Read more.
My name is Tara and I am 24 years old. I have been living with migraines for 10 years now. I have tried multiple different medications and treatments and have finally found what works best for me right now. Read more.
Olivia was born and raised in Chicago. She has had migraine disease as early into childhood as she recalls. Her migraines became debilitating, daily, and intractable while she was attending The University of Missouri. Olivia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, despite the many obstacles chronic migraine had posed along the way. Read more.
Tammy knows firsthand the toll that chronic migraine takes on a person’s life. She is a lifelong migraine patient and was diagnosed with cluster headaches in her early 30s. Read more.
Gina is a puppy mother to a Boxer named Rocky. She is an aunt to two, nephews and can often be found cheering at their sporting events. She has many devoted friends for the past 20+ years who see each other often, especially for their regular “Club” gatherings. Read more.
I was diagnosed with migraine at 8 years old, chronic migraine at 27, and living with the disabling illness for 37 years. I'm a migraineur also managing depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, RLS, spinal stenosis and chronic back pain. Read more.
Steven Workman is a husband and a father of four. In his South Texas home, he has two large dogs that are protective of him. During his service in the United States Army, 1st Infantry Division, during a deployment to Iraq, his battle with PTSD started and he began experiencing episodic migraines. Read more.
Elizabeth Roberts Zibbel
Elizabeth was diagnosed with migraine at age 9 and became chronic at age 30. Having finally accepted and made peace with her illness, she strives to live each moment as fully as possible. Read more.
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