Research funding for Migraine and other Headache Disorders is woefully lacking. That's nothing new. Advocates have been working on this for years now. Something else advocates have been doing is working to raise funding ourselves, then donating it to trusted organizations who fund research.
In the wake of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Dr. David Watson wanted to come up with a challenge to raise money for Migraine and Headache research funding. Dr. Watson is a Migraineur himself. He's also the director of the West Virginia University Headache Center and an active advocate. Here's the challenge he came up with:
Dr. Watson has blogged about this challenge: Migraine and Headache Awareness - The Hot Wings for Headache Challenge, but the reception to it has been less than stellar in some quarters. This hasn't as much to do with the challenge itself as it has with the way it's been received by some people.
If you've ever organized anything directed toward a group of people, you know that not everyone is going to like it or be happy with it. It's that simple. You absolutely cannot please everyone, and really, there's nothing wrong with that. It's just the way it is because people are naturally different from one another. If we were all alike, live would be horrendously boring!
Many of us have been tagged on Facebook or otherwise invited or challenged to participate in opportunities or events that we didn't particularly like. It's gonna happen! Let's assume that we've received one for a good cause, but really dislike it for some reason other than the cause, and that there's no harm in the even or opportunity. In fact, since it's so visible right now, let's use the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for an example.
I was challenged to this ALS challenge. Obviously, it's for a good cause. I had two options - accept the challenge or not. But I have a personal problem with the challenge. Dumping a butcket of ice water over my head would almost certainly trigger one of my Migraines from hell. It simply wasn't worth getting a Migraine, so I accepted the challenge, but made a donation instead of dousing myself with ice water.
This is a reasonable way to accept an event or opportunity that we don't particularly like, and I hope it's something everyone will consider if they're challenged during the Hot Wings for Headache Challenge and when they come across it in blogs, social media, etc.
If you have Migraine or another Headache Disorder, or if you care about someone who does, we're all in this together. It's made me terribly sad to see some comments that went beyond negative and into nasty. That's just not necessary, and it's exceedingly counterproductive. It hurts the entire Migaine and Headache community, not to mention Dr. Watson, who worked hard to come up with this challenge.
So, will you join me? When you encounter awareness events and opportunities, will you look not only at whether you like them or not, but at why they were created and what they were designed to accomplish? Will you join me in being a positive force in the community? I sincerely hope you will.
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© Teri Robert, 2014
Last updated September 5, 2014.