Miles for Migraine is another nonprofit organization that produces run/walk events to benefit Migraine and headache research. Their model differs from Runnin' for Research in that Miles for Migraine distributes funding to support "headache medicine" fellowships, whereas Runnin' for Research donates to organizations conducting Migraine and Headache research. Here's a description from Shirley Kessel, President of the Miles for Migraine Board:
“'I can’t get an appointment with a headache specialist for 6 months!' We hear this statement from patients often. This is because this past year, of the 31 fellowship programs in our country, less than 20 were filled due to resident doctors not specializing in headache medicine. We have a shortage of trained headache doctors in our country. To help alleviate the shortage, Miles for Migraine wants to encourage doctors to go into headache medicine by offering more research money for them. Miles for Migraine is dedicated to raising awareness and funding for migraine as well as other headache disorders.
Our walk/runs not only about raising money, but also a community where people can come together and advocate for themselves. Patients with migraine often do not have the chance to stand up for their disease, and thus themselves. They desperately need an opportunity to do something positive about their condition. It is basic psychology that by collaborating positively with a group, you will feel better about yourself. Patients also need a way to encourage their families and friends to participate for migraine; doing something for someone else’s disease transforms attitudes and provides them an opportunity to learn about the scope of migraine.
History demonstrates that diseases that are stigmatized, like HIV, breast cancer, and autism, can only change in the public’s mind when the patients and their families come together in community action asking for recognition. Diseases in which the patients do not stand up for themselves remain badly stigmatized and patients do not receive the research or therapies needed to effectively treat their condition. This is true even if doctors speak up for the disease; patients and their families must take over the effort.