Meet U.S. Pain Foundation’s Pain Warrior of the Month for August—Noelle Chelli Lopez!

Noelle has been a volunteer with U.S. Pain since 2016 and just recently launched a California Support Group with Michele Rice

Noelle Chelli Lopez

City & State: San Francisco Bay Area 

Age: 40 

Pain Warrior Role: 

  • Volunteer since 2016 
  • Became an ambassador/advocate in 2017  
  • Completed support group leadership training in 2019 
  • Completed virtual advocacy training in 2020 

What type of health conditions do you live with: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS) and Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain? 

It is vital to be connected with others who also live with chronic pain. A great way to do this is by joining a support group! Although everyone’s experience is unique, there is a commonality among all who struggle with pain. And being in the presence of others who simply “get it” and feeling understood is essential to coping with the challenges of pain. 

What has been your favorite experience been with U.S. Pain?
My favorite experience with the U.S. Pain Foundation has been attending the intensive training for support group leadership. It was an honor to learn from both Gwenn Herman and Cindy Steinberg how to create a group rooted in compassion that provides evidence-based education and support. 

What should people know about the new California Chronic Pain Support Group?
Michele Rice and I have recently started a support group via Zoom for California residents with chronic pain. We are both passionate about helping others cope and learn how to become active participants in their care and lives. We strive to create a supportive environment grounded in empathy and compassion and where pain patients feel heard. rd. Our meetings focus on education, including topic discussions, skill-building, and mindfulness tools and activities. We would love for you to join us! You can find group registration information by clicking here or visiting painconnection.org.   

What’s a fun fact about you?
I love to write! I’ve always found writing about my experiences, especially with chronic pain, very therapeutic. I enjoy creating pieces for online publications like The Mighty and also find journaling helpful.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our community?
I’m a senior at Arizona State University studying Psychology and Family and Human Development.