A look back on another successful year advancing the American Migraine Foundation’s mission

Each year, the American Migraine Foundation sets strategic goals to improve the lives of people living with migraine in measurable ways. Working alongside healthcare professionals, patient advocates and people affected by migraine, we’ve made significant progress this year in our ongoing fight. As 2017 draws to a close, we wanted to take a look back on some of our successes and what they mean for the migraine community.

Fighting stigma against migraine

In the spring, the American Migraine Foundation launched the Move Against Migraine campaign to increase awareness and educate the public about the pervasiveness and severity of migraine. Our multimedia campaign has empowered thousands by providing a platform for people with migraine to share their stories, accurately portraying the reality of migraine and mobilizing a community of self-advocates and allies to combat mischaracterizations of this disabling, profoundly misunderstood disease.

Providing support for people living with migraine

Migraine affects more than 36 million Americans, yet the experience of living with migraine can feel incredibly isolating. This year we created the #MoveAgainstMigraine Facebook group, which today provides an inclusive, dedicated space for more than 13,000 members to exchange resources, advice and support with people who truly understand. Through this effort, we are able to provide group members with direct access to leading migraine doctors, researchers and patient advocates through weekly Facebook Live chats, and to maintain an ongoing dialogue that keeps AMF’s priorities aligned with the most pressing needs of the people we serve.

Compiling and sharing information

Throughout this year we’ve been working with migraine experts to establish a resource library of comprehensive, authoritative information relating to all facets of migraine diagnosis, treatment and research. Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, yet it is widely misunderstood. Inaccurate information online can reinforce the stigma that magnify the burden of living with this disabling disease. Our online resource library, which provides the public with reliable information sourced directly from neurologists, migraine specialists and researchers, is accessed more than 200,000 times per month, and that investment in education will have a lasting effect on an individual’s ability to manage their own illness as well as change misperceptions about migraine amongst the general public.

Funding groundbreaking research into migraine treatment

AMF has launched the world’s first prospective comprehensive patient registry (American Registry for Migraine Research or ARMR) and biorepository; the biorepository will house samples of blood from thousands of patients with migraine. This treasure trove of information will enable scientists and clinicians to advance research into the genetics, causes, factors that affect prognosis, response to treatments and eventually, identify new targets for treatment. There are numerous academic and university clinics around the United States participating in ARMR and in 2018, we hope to add several more.

We are also leading an initiative to advocate for our patients. In February 2018, we will bring 20 individuals from our Move Against Migraine Facebook community to Washington to meet with legislators to advocate for increased funding for research and access to care. We are also meeting with insurance companies to begin a dialogue on how to ensure that patients have access to care. We have ambitious goals for 2018 — there are more victories to be won in the fight against migraine. AMF’s investments in ensuring access to care, eliminating stigma, raising awareness, providing education, advancing research and elevating the voices of the people most affected by migraine bring us closer each day to a world unburdened by this disabling disease.

Our recent successes, and our continuing progress, would not be possible without the support of our donors. A contribution to AMF is a direct investment in the fight to end migraine, and has a tangible effect on the lives of millions of Americans. We hope you’ll consider donating to the American Migraine Foundation to help us continue our fight: because together, we are as relentless as migraine.