Mary Pettigrew is a freelance writer/blogger from Dallas, Texas. Her writing is multigenre in nature, with a focus on poetry, prose, essay, narrative interview. She is an ambassador & patient advocate for multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic illness, IBS/D, mental illness & disability rights. In 2014, Mary founded MSpals, an online support organization which has a global outreach on Twitter, Facebook & other platforms. In conjunction with MSpals, Mary created a group geared specifically for those with chronic illness & disabilities to post/share art, music, writing, etc. The group is called “Creative Expression” & can be found on Facebook.
Mary is active with the NMSS (National MS Society), HealtheVoices, WEGO Health and other patient leader/ambassador platforms.
Jaime’s journey with migraine has been a life-long one. From a toddler with abdominal migraine to a wife and mother with chronic intractable migraine, Jaime has learned to turn her pain into empowerment. She also manages her daily life with depression and anxiety, surviving two suicide attempts, along with fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal stenosis and chronic back pain. Despite these conditions and their limitations, she strives to do her best to find her optimal health. Advocating for headache disorders and mental health are her passions.
She is the author of the popular blog The Migraine Diva and was the Migraine Patient Advocacy Coordinator for Global Healthy Living Foundation. She also partners with the American Migraine Foundation and Shades for Migraine and is a stakeholder with the Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients and the Headache and Migraine Policy Forum. Through her advocacy work and blog, Jaime’s mission is to make a very invisible disease visible to the rest of the world and validate the real pain of millions. You may reach her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Emily has lived with migraine since she was seven, but the attacks shifted from episodic to chronic after the birth of her first child in 2017. As a yoga teacher and Exercise Physiology student, she is interested in how physical activity can benefit those living with chronic illness and pain. Emily started sharing her journey on social media and through her blog Movement With Migraine in 2019, and is passionate about inspiring and encouraging others to move their body more. Every little bit counts! She hopes to shine a light on this debilitating but often misunderstood condition, which is so much more than just a headache. She also wants to share that it is possible to thrive despite the pain, and that staying positive and nurturing your body can improve your life with migraine.
Growing up in Atlanta, I spent most of my early twenties bouncing between Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. I was diagnosed with migraine at 18 years old, but they did not become chronic until 2012. I have been a migraine sufferer for over 30 years, and chronic for the past 6 years.
Before coming “chronic” I enjoyed all sorts of adventures including hiking, kayaking and camping. Since being diagnosed, I have had to greatly alter my life to manage the over 15 migraine attacks that I have a month. On top of being a full time mom, I manage my migraine pain on a daily basis. I am lucky to be married to a wonderful husband for almost 15 years, who is willing to step in and help out when my attacks become completely debilitating.
Last year, after a 10 day stay in an inpatient migraine program, I decided to open up my life and heart to helping others in my situation. I started my Instagram account in January 2019. After years of doctors, tests, alternative treatments and physical therapy, I felt pulled to open my heart and soul to create and share my REAL life experiences in an effort to reach others within the chronic pain community. My hope is through my experiences I am able to create community and serve as an advocate, friend, and supporter for those suffering with migraine and other chronic conditions.
Sarah has lived with migraine her entire life. After watching her mom and grandmother fight migraine, she had her first attack at age 5. Her journey has continued the rest of her life turning from episodic to chronic as an adult. After staying at home with her 2 small children, she found her voice through My Migraine Life several years ago. It has grown into a powerful advocacy blog.
My Migraine Life documents how migraine affects everyday life. Her stories and information shed light on how migraine is more than a headache and all that is involved with living with it. Sarah shares her life as a mom, teacher, and dog, food and travel lover. Her quest for health is seen everywhere from products, therapies, self-care, to ways to advocate and how to help yourself and others. Sarah’s positivity offers hope while her honesty is felt. Her advocacy can be seen at Miles for Migraine events throughout the county. She also partners with American Migraine Foundation, Shades for Migraine and Healthline. Her mission is to lessen stigma, build community and raise funds to change the lives of migraine sufferers and families around the world. She can be reached through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Hi, we’re Em and Kate, sisters behind the wellness blog Two Being Healthy. While to the outside world we appear as healthy, active young adults, in reality we both suffer from invisible and chronic illnesses. Our health complications really began when we were each diagnosed with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) at age 17. We have since been diagnosed with multiple other chronic illnesses, including, but not limited to, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), MCAD (Mast Cell Activation Disorder) and Chronic Migraines.
Over the past 10+ years, we have discovered all the ups and downs of living with a variety of autoimmune and autonomic issues. At first, it was very difficult to cope, but we have now adapted to our realities and are able to live our lives fully. Throughout our journey we have learned that if something is inhibiting our health, all avenues towards improvement should be explored and, in doing so, we have gained a passion for wellness and nutrition.
Our blog, Two Being Healthy, deals with managing invisible and chronic illness in a positive manner. It was created with the intention of sharing our health journey, including products we have found beneficial, tips we have gained along the way, documenting of new discoveries, and interviews with professionals in related fields. It’s inspired by our own experiences and is a true passion project for us. Two Being Healthy focuses on a proactive approach aimed towards healing and helping the body. We strive to be advocates of invisible illness and to change the perception of what “sick” looks like!
Ellie has been living with chronic migraine for the last 8 years. She began writing about her life as a student and young adult living with migraine on her blog, Chronic Migraine Ellie, over 4 years ago. She writes about topics like understanding migraine and learning how to be a patient advocate, reducing stigma around migraine, mental health and invisible disabilities, and navigating personal and professional relationships while living with chronic illness. In addition to her blog, she is also a patient advocate for migraine and has attended Headache on the Hill for the past 3 years.
Ellie graduated from Wesleyan University in May 2019 with a B.A. in History and the Science and Society Program. She wrote her senior thesis on the development of pain management as a medical specialty and the relationship between physician pain management advocacy and public policy. Ellie currently works in health policy in Washington D.C.
I started my health journey about 5 years after I was diagnosed with Migraine Disease. I grew up dealing with Migraine symptoms, IBS flares, and Anxiety but never got help with my hypersensitivities until recently. I have always lived an active and healthy lifestyle, but once my Migraine attacks became chronic in 2012, I had trouble handling daily stressors and could feel that I was not living life fully. From that point forward, I made a choice to put my health first by being my own advocate and researcher. I delved into the chronic illness community for support and to share my story, and I’m so happy that I did! I’ve been able to make conscious choices that have turned into healthy habits that affect my overall well being. Because I choose to put my health, my mindset and my wellness first everyday, I’ve been able to cut my Migraine days from 15+/month to 5 or less/month. I now feel like I have a life worth living because of my lifestyle choices and I share my journey in hopes of helping others who struggle daily like me. Having support, empathy and understanding are so important and I’m so grateful to not only have this from my community, but to also give back to others. We are more than our chronic illnesses, we are wellness warriors!