City & State: Meriden, CT

Age: 59

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain Senior State Advocate

Conditions: Parkinson’s disease, unknown neuromuscular disorder, bilateral restrictive lung disease, effects of stroke, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, asthma, primary immune deficiency, and vestibular dysfunction.

Favorite Tip: “Just because you have chronic pain doesn’t mean you have to be defined by it. Remember everyone has their own story, so never feel that anyone is more deserving of care that you. Your story belongs to you, you get to decide how you face each new day. Speak up for yourself. Finding something to distract yourself from the pain and anxiety of daily life is extremely helpful, adapt it to your needs; for example, I can no longer hold a book, so I use an e-reader to read!”

Fun Fact: I love spending time with my grandchildren, and taking fun classes with my service dog, Tippy!

U.S. Pain Senior Advocate Wendy Foster has worked with the organization since 2010, when she was one of the inaugural participants of the INvisible Project. Over the years, she has been an outspoken advocate for pain warriors, testifying countless times, including in front of the FDA, numerous state legislatures, and U.S. congresspeople.  Wendy was featured in U.S. Pain’s “Behind the Scenes” commercial, where she candidly describes her struggles with suicidal thoughts during her pain journey, allowing a true glimpse into the hardships that accompany chronic pain. We are incredibly grateful to Wendy for her honesty and courage in sharing her story–which we know so many can relate to–and showing the world what is possible despite pain.