Migraine Pearls are awarded to the "gems" in the Migraine community for valuable, shining content and support... current and accurate information... things of value. Migraine Onions, on the other hand, are awarded to "stinky" things in the Migraine community — old or inaccurate content... things that perpetuate misconceptions and stigma rather than fighting them... worthless products, eBooks, etc... and more.
While the makers of Excedrin and their advertising agency have seemed to be trying to connect with people with Migraine and other headache disorders, they've also been really messing up.
Today, they've really gone way over the top on Twitter with what I'm going to call "predatory Tweets." They're not clever. They're not cute. They're predatory. Here are two of their Tweets:
For these Tweets, I hereby award Excedrin, their social media team, and Novartis Consumer Health a Migraine Onion!
At this critical time in the United States... during the dirtiest, nastiest political campaign every... when our attention should be on solving the horrible issues facing us as a nation...
During this time, Excedrin's social media team posts these predatory Tweets in an attempt to boost their sales and profit from the turmoil of the Presidential campaign. These stinky Tweets also serve to perpetuate the social stigma associated with Migraine and other Headache disorders. I could go on and on, but it all comes down to:
Shame on everyone at Excedrin and Novartis Consumer Health responsible for these Tweets!
Yes, I realize that the opinion of one person and a boycott by one person isn't going to hurt Novartis Consumer Health, the makers of Excedrin, but that's exactly what I'm going to be doing. From now on, if I need or want something made by Novartis — ANY of their divisions — I'll be looking for a substitute made by another company.
I've designed some limited edition Migraine awareness shirts and a mug available now through TeeSpring. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness, not$$, so I've set the prices at the lowest allowable by Teespring:
The Hanes tagless short-sleeved teeshirt is $14.25.
The Gildan 8 oz. heavy blend hoddie is $23.99
The Gildan 6.1 oz. long-sleeved tee is $16.99
The mug is $9.99.
Items ordered will be printed and shipped when the campaign expires on Tuesday, October 25. They will be shipped directly to you from TeeSpring and should arrive in four to seven business days.
These items would make super holiday gifts, and this design won't be sold again.
Although I've set the prices on these items as low as I can, there will be a bit of residual profit coming my way - maybe $20. Regardless of what the amount is, I will donate it to the American Migraine Foundation.
I hope you'll consider using these items to raise Migraine awareness!
If you have some time on Saturday, there's an easy way everyone can help us raise awareness with these events - Tweeting and reTweeting! People at these events are going to be Tweeting, some with photos of the events, and other people reTweeting is a great way to raise awareness for Migraine and other Headache disorders as well as the two organizations.
Anyone who lives with Migraine disease knows that living with it means living with far more than the physical burden. It also means living with a lack of understanding among much of the general public and, sometimes, even those closest to us. It also means living with the social stigma associated with Migraine. This Ted-Ed lesson can be used to help educate others and reduce the stigma. For Migraineurs, it's a validating piece that everyone can appreciate.
This Day offers a look at a day with chronic Migraine that's realistic without making viewers uncomfortable. Anyone can relate to a wish for a day "when I am actually OK." This is a perfect video to share with those who need a better understanding of what it's like to live with this disease. A great job by Anna Eidt, Ian Macmillan, and Shawn Beckwith. Enjoy the song written and performed by Anna.
On Saturday, October 8, three Runnin' for Research runs/walks to raise funding for Migraine and Headache research will occur in:
Jeffersontown, Kentucky (outside Louisville);
Morgantown, West Virginia, and
Parkville, Missouri (outside Kansas City).
In each location, there will be a 5-K run and a 1-mile walk. For those who can't be present or who are physically unable to participate, there's a "virtual runner" option to support the events.
Registration for these events is kept to an affordable $20 fee. National and local sponsors have provided financial support that offsets an race expenses not covered by registration fees and adds to the "kitty" for research donations. The directors of these three events are volunteers, and they've worked diligently to organize and run fun, high quality events at minimum cost.
This is the third year for Runnin' for Research events. In 2015, Runnin' for Research donated $6,313 to the American Migraine Foundation from just one race in Morgantown. In 2016, the Louisville area race was added, and $17,434 was donated. With the addition of the Kansas City area race this year, it's anticipated that the donation will grow significantly.
If you're not familiar with this series, you may be wondering what pearls and onions have to do with Migraine and other Headache disorders. I'll explain.
Migraine Pearls are awarded to the "gems" in the Migraine community for valuable, shining patient care... educational content and support... current and accurate information... things of value. Migraine Onions, on the other hand, are awarded to "stinky" things in the Migraine community — old or inaccurate content... things that perpetuate misconceptions and stigma rather than fighting them... worthless products, eBooks, etc... and more.
Patty Haughton emailed me with a nomination that led to today's Migraine Pearls, so it's fitting that I quote Patty about why Dr. William Young, Jen Cho, and the entire team at the Jefferson Headache Center are hereby awarded Migraine Pearls. Patty told me:
I currently live in Delaware, 30 miles from Jefferson. I moved far away, twice, and commuted by plane and train to see Dr.Young. He has been irreplaceable and years ahead, with regard to knowledge and treatment of migraine, of any other "headache specialist " I have seen. It is Dr. Young's relationship with his patients that truly sets him apart from others in the field. He always has time for another question and never pretends to have all of the answers. I feel as if we are team addressing the migraines. He involves me in every decision.
I would like to thank Carla, Margaret, and Diane, by name, and then mention and all the support staff at Jefferson Headache Center. Carla, Margaret and Diane always greet me by name in the waiting room, even if I have not been assigned to them. They, Dr. Young and Jenn Cho, treat the whole me, not just the headache. They ask about my family and my life and remember details from visit to visit. Again, I feel a member of a team rather than just a recipient of care.
I hear patients in the waiting room who are new to the Center , mumble about the long wait times. I have never minded waiting, because when it is my turn to be seen, the visit is relaxed and anything but rushed. I have also come to the Center with somewhat urgent headache needs, and I have been seen quickly.
I didn't mention in my last email that Bill Young is much more than his patients' physician. He spends countless hours, as do you, advocating and lobbying for research funding for headache. His efforts in outreach for awareness of and education about headache is evidenced the tremendous increase in Headache on the Hill participation.
In summary, am nominating Bill Young, Jenn Cho and their entire headache team at Jefferson Headache Center for a Pearl.
Patty's nomination struck a chord with me. Dr. Young was the first Migraine and Headache specialist I saw, and I'll be forever grateful for his knowledge, help, and compassion. One of the first things he said to me at my first appointment was, "I won't give up on you if you don't give up on me." Neither of us gave up, and with his help, we reduced my Migraine frequency from 25 to 30 days a month to just one or two. That didn't last forever, but when things changed and my Migraine frequency increased, I was far better able to cope while looking for new treatment options because of all Dr. Young had taught me.
Congratulations to Dr. Young, Jen Cho, Carla, Margaret, and Diane, and the entire staff of the Jefferson Headache Center! You're true gems in the Migraine community, and greatly deserving of Pearls!
Patty, thank you for nominating these wonderful people!
Do you have someone you'd like to nominate for a Migraine Pearl or a Migraine Onion? If you do, I'd love to hear from you. You can email me by clicking the "Email Me" button in the right column of this blog.
Migraine Action's Migraine art collection is magnificent. If you haven't seen it, please visit their site and take a look.
Also, this is Migraine Awareness Week in the UK. Check out the Migraine Action site for ways to help!
National charity, Migraine Action, holds one of the few migraine art collections in the world. Including over 500 pieces, the Art Collection was created by members of the public, largely in response to four competitions, held between 1980 and 1987.
Have you seen a truly great article or blog post about Migraine? Do you have a hero in the Migraine community — someone you admire for their strength or helping others?
On the other end of the spectrum, have you come across a horribly incorrect article or blog post? Have you come across a web site full of misinformation or one that's only there to sell a questionable product or service?
I think you get the idea. Migraine Pearls are shiny and beautiful. Migraine Onions are nasty and stinky. Do you have a nomination for a Migraine Pearl or Migraine Onion? If so, please share it with me. You can leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or you can click on the email button in the right column to email your nomination to me.
Let's work together to acknowledge great content or people with a Pearl or let others know about sites and other content that can't be trusted with an Onion. We need to work together for many reasons, not the least of which is that it can be hard to distinguish accurate content from inaccurate content, especially for those who are in pain while searching and for those who are new to learning about Migraine disease.