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City & state: Green Bay, WI

Age: 40

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since July 2014

What type of health conditions you live with: Vestibular migraine, cluster headaches, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “It’s important for me to show my children that living with chronic illnesses and pain does not mean you can’t lead a good life. Every morning I wake up believing it’s going to be a productive and great day. Even if my body limits me from doing certain activities, I’m proud of the fact that I tried my best despite whatever obstacles I faced.”

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U.S. Pain will hold its third annual Real Hope, Real Heroes Gala: A celebration of real-life heroes on June 2 in Scottsdale, AZ. The goal of the evening is to shed light on the invisibility of pain while also honoring amazing pain warriors. All proceeds go toward U.S. Pain’s programs and services.

This year, the gala will feature participants from the last two editions of the INvisible Project, which highlighted migraine disease and rheumatoid arthritis/rheumatoid disease respectively. The INvisible Project is a print magazine and website that highlights the bravery and perseverance of pain warriors through stories and photos.

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 U.S. Pain Foundation is proud to announce it will officially launch a Pediatric Pain Warrior Program in 2018.

“This program’s goal is to ensure that no child feels like he or she is fighting this journey alone,” says Paul Gileno, president and founder of U.S. Pain. “To do that, we will provide resources for the pain warrior as well as his or her family, offer support online as well as in-person, give families a safe and secure place to share stories, and keep the community up-to-date on events and awareness campaigns.”

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On Feb.12 and 13, representatives from U.S. Pain Foundation proudly participated in Headache on the Hill (HOH) in Washington, DC. Now in its 11th year, HOH is an event that gathers patients, caregivers, and providers together to advocate on Capitol Hill on issues related to headache, migraine, and cluster diseases. This year marked the largest attendance with a total of over 140 advocates representing 40 states.

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U.S. Pain is offering three online letter-writing campaigns to urge legislators improve access to medical cannabis. Check below to see if your state is among those that don’t allow full access to medical cannabis for people with pain. Please note you may need to use your nine-digit zip code, which you can look up here.

Group 1

States: AL, GA, IN, IA, KY, MS, MO, NC, OK, TN, SC, TX, UT, VA, WI and WY

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A March 20 webinar for members of the U.S. Pain community will feature Rachel Horcher, a licensed massage therapist, movement specialist and yoga instructor. This free webinar begins at 1 pm EST.

During her presentation, Horcher will discuss how massage can help with chronic pain, how to find the right massage therapist and best communicate with him or her, and the different types of massages. This webinar is suited to both individuals who haven’t tried massage before and those who have.

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Ouchie, an official partner of the U.S. Pain Foundation, is releasing a new version of its free app for iOS and Android users next week.

The app offers people with chronic conditions a way to track their treatments, set goals, interact with a supportive community, and find resources. Users also can get rewarded for their daily accomplishments with gift cards and other prizes. The more achievements you unlock, the more prizes you can win.

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For the 2018 legislative sesion, Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development Shaina Smith says that U.S. Pain will be offering more ways to engage than ever before.

The State Advocacy team also has revamped its online tools for taking action. The latest calls-to-action will appear on the Advocacy webpage as well as on U.S. Pain’s social media pages. In addition, there are tools for tracking bills and looking up representatives’ contact information.

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Despite recent roadblocks, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ efforts to restrict recreational marijuana use and the Veteran Administration’s refusal to study cannabis’s therapeutic benefit, legislation at the state and federal level is moving forward to allow or expand access to medical marijuana for those who need it.

“Americans should be encouraged by the progress being made,” explains Shaina Smith, director of state advocacy and alliance development for U.S. Pain Foundation. “Fortunately, Attorney General Sessions has only cracked down on recreational marijuana. Although there is some concern he might target medical cannabis, so far, we’re seeing a lot of positive action on medical marijuana bills in numerous states and at the federal level. But we need our advocates and ambassadors to step up and support the legislation being proposed.”

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Pain advocates are encouraged to ask Congress to support Opioids and STOP Pain Initiative Act, which was introduced in December, through an easy online engagement campaign.

HR4733/S2260 proposes to expand, intensify, and coordinate research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with respect to the understanding of pain and the development of safer and more effective pain treatments. It also will help fund the development of improved options for medication-assisted treatment and opioid overdose reversal

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