Headache on the Hill Report
Last week, which I spent in the Washington, DC, area, was one of the busiest, most productive weeks I can remember.
On Tuesday, the doctors who were there for Headache on the Hill spent the afternoon reviewing statistics on NIH funding for Migraine and headache research and learning how to be more effective when visiting congressional offices.
Wednesday was spent visiting the offices of the Senators and Congressmen where appointments had been scheduled for us. Each of us had appointments with both of our Senators and the Congressman for our district or their legislative assistants. We explained the impact of Migraine and headache, how little NIH research funding is allocated to headache and Migraine, and why that funding should be increased. The overall impression afterward was that the people we had talked with were receptive and really listened.
Still, such major changes don't occur easily or quickly. We know there is still work to be done. We may have to go back to the same people and talk with them a second time. We had excellent participation and reached approximately 1/3 of the Senators and Congressmen, but speaking with more of them is still a goal. Thus, Headache on the Hill for 2008 has already been scheduled for September.
Many of you have asked what you can do to help. We are counting on your help. We are in the process of organizing a grassroots patient initiative to follow and reinforce the work we did last week. Getting to DC can be difficult, both physically and financially. So, we're organizing a project you can do from home, efficiently and effectively. In just a few months, we'll have a Web site available to help you contact your Senators and Congressmen. On that site, you'll be able to find the background information and statistics that need to be emphasized. We'll be asking you to use that information to write to your Senators and Congressmen. Since the anthrax scares, regular postal mail has become less effective. It often goes unread. The site we're setting up will make it easy to send email to the appropriate congressional offices, email that will be vital to getting the results we need. Your help will make a difference. Just keep watching here for more information about when we're ready to start and how you can jump in and make a difference.
I spent Thursday and Friday in the HealthCentral offices in Arlington, Virginia. Meeting the people I've been working with via email and telephone was very exciting. We spent the entire two days planning how we can build the best site possible for Migraine and headache information and support. It was highly energizing and motivating to talk with the HealthCentral staff and see just how supportive, dedicated, and talented they are.
The tall guy with his scooter is Dan, our site producer. I'll add a few more photos here to give you an idea of some of the people I met -- Bill Allman, HealthCentral's general manager, and some of the producers for other HealthCentral sites. There's also a photo of the outside of the office and a little park that's next to it.
I hope you'll enjoy seeing a few more of the faces behind MyMigraineConnection and the rest of the HealthCentral Network.
To all of you who read, emailed, and posted to the forum with your support, thank you. Knowing what's at stake and that all of you were back here thinking of us made us even more determined to get our point across.
The generally long periods of time between my Migraines are the result of working with a Migraine specialist to refine my preventive regimen. You can see my current regimen HERE.