Thankful Despite Migraine - UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program

Patient Expert
Medically Reviewed
Wendy and Leonard Goldberg

Important note to the migraine community: Many of you have asked how you can thank the Goldbergs. After reading this article, please go to the bottom and click the link to add a comment. You are very welcome to post your thanks there, and we'll be sure that they're brought to the Goldbergs' attention. Thanks Now to the gigantic wonderful news...

There's spectacular news in the world of migraine research. In fact, it may be the best migraine research news I've ever heard, and it makes me thankful for Wendy and Leonard Goldberg and the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program.

On December 8 (2015), UCLA announced that UCLA Health Sciences has received a $10 million gift, most of which will support migraine research. This is the largest single gift ever made for migraine research. The gift was made by philanthropists Wendy and Leonard Goldberg. Wendy Goldberg is an editor and author; her husband, Leonard, is an award-winning film and television producer and executive.

More than 90 percent of migraine patients are unable to work during their migraine attacks, costing employers $13 billion a year in lost work days; and every 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to an emergency room with a migraine-related complaint.

According to the World Health Organization, migraine is the third most common medical disorder worldwide. It is closely linked with a variety of other disorders, including chronic pain, stroke and depression. The WHO has also stated that a severe migraine attack is a debilitating as quadriplegia. Although it is a major public health issue, migraine has remained largely in the shadows, and attacks are commonly minimized as “just headaches.” Migraine is a complex headache disorder. There is a major genetic component, meaning that children of parents with migraine commonly inherit migraine.

The UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program will be led by Dr. Andrew Charles, professor of neurology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Migraine and Headache Studies. Dr. Charles told me:

"This is an amazing opportunity for us to help to bring new and better treatments to patients with migraine. The Goldbergs' generosity will enable us to do things that we could not do with traditional funding sources. In addition, this gift puts migraine research "on the map" as a legitimate cause for major philanthropic support, particularly in the entertainment industry. We're looking forward to making the most of this endowment to improve the lives of the countless individuals who are disabled by migraine and other headache disorders."2

Dr. John Mazziotta, vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and chief executive officer of UCLA Health, commented:

“The Goldbergs’ visionary gift, which names and endows the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program, is the largest from individuals to support migraine research and treatment. It will be a complete game changer in the field of headache and migraine – locally and globally.”1

In a press release from UCLA, Dr. Charles stated:

“This remarkable gift will enable our multidisciplinary team to bring forward new therapies, provide the best possible care and improve the lives of those who suffer from migraine. Migraine is generally under-recognized as a major medical problem, in part because it is not fatal, But it is not hyperbole to say that it can ruin lives.”1

Wendy and Leonard Goldberg want to help advance the understanding of migraine and the care of patients with the disorder. Ms Goldberg said:

“Leonard and I have seen firsthand in friends and family members how debilitating migraines can be. We are eager to help find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure.”1

In addition to the portion of the gift supporting migraine research, $500,000 will establish the Goldberg Head and Neck Fund in the department of head and neck surgery under the direction of Dr. Gerald Berke. The remaining $1.5 million will establish the Goldberg Health System Fund. The donation is part of the $4.2 billion UCLA Centennial Campaign, which is scheduled to conclude in December 2019 during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year.

Leonard Goldberg is a highly respected film and television executive and producer who has served as head of programming for ABC and president of 20th Century Fox. He is currently the executive producer of the hit CBS series “Blue Bloods.” Goldberg produced a string of beloved television series, including “Charlie's Angels,” “Hart to Hart,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Fantasy Island,” “Family” and the Emmy-winning television film “Something About Amelia.” He also produced the Oscar-nominated movie “War Games,” as well as “Sleeping with the Enemy,” “Double Jeopardy” and “Charlie’s Angels.”

Wendy Howard Goldberg’s “Blue Bloods Cookbook,” co-authored with Bridget Moynahan, is currently climbing the bestseller charts. She also co-wrote with Betty Goodwin the highly acclaimed book “Marry Me,” which was the subject of two network television specials, and collaborated on the New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller “Hollywood Moms.” Proceeds from the book benefited breast cancer research. Wendy Goldberg currently serves as president emeritus of the California State Summer School Arts Foundation. The summer school, headquartered at Cal Arts and now entering its 30th year of providing arts education to young people ages 13 to 20, is considered one of the finest programs of its kind in the United States.

The Goldbergs have endowed several programs at the University of Pennsylvania, including the student residence Goldberg House, and they established the Wendy and Leonard Goldberg Lectureship at Cedars–Sinai Medical Center. In 2012, the Goldbergs were honored by Cedars–Sinai with the first annual Hollywood Icon Award in recognition of their achievements in film, television and charitable endeavors.

To Wendy and Leonard Goldberg -Words are inadequate, but thank you! Thank you for being kind, caring, and giving. To everyone reading this piece, if you'd like to thank the Goldbergs, please take just a minute to post a comment below, and share your thanks.


1 Irwin, Kim. "$10 million gift to UCLA from Wendy and Leonard Goldberg is largest every to support migraine research."

2 Interview with Dr. Andrew Charles. Teri Robert. December 8, 2015.

This time of year, migraine or not, most of us dive into holiday planning as deeply as we're able to. Holidays have become so commercialized that the original reasons for them often seem to be overshadowed. So, between now and January, 2016, we're saying, "Yes," to our readers who asked us to repeat last year's feature project - Thankful Despite Migraine. We'll be sharing the people in our lives for whom we're thankful as well as things, events, and more.

Is there someone or something you're especially thankful for this year? Would you like to share? If so, you can write your own post or post a comment below!

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