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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.

U.S. Pain sponsored 20 incredible advocates from all across the nation to join the efforts. Our representatives included:

    • U.S. Pain ambassadors with migraine or headache disease
    • Participants from the INvisible Project: Migraine Edition 2017
    • Individuals from Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc., an organization that partners with U.S. Pain
    • The Lineberry family, who are featured in a new documentary on living with migraine called Out of My Head

The two-day event started with a training session and discussion of the purpose on Capitol Hill. This year, all participants were charged with asking their representatives to sign onto a bipartisan bill called the Opioid and STOP Pain Initiative Act (H.R.4733/ S. 2260).

This bill proposes to expand research at the National Institutes of Health with respect to the understanding of pain and the development of safer and more effective pain treatments. It allots $5 billion to this cause, along with the development of better options for individuals with substance abuse disorder.

With each visit made with members of Congress, advocates bravely shared their personal stories of living with migraine, headache, and cluster disease to show why signing onto the Opioids and STOP Pain Initiative Act was crucial – putting a face behind this important bill. Everyone emphasized how the lack of effective and safe medication options leaves them in severe pain, affects their family and work life, and causes financial distress.

The U.S. Pain contingent capped off the event with a family dinner that included a few of the participants for the upcoming INvisible Project: Migraine, Headache & Cluster Disease Edition, due out in April/May. Attendees shared their favorite moments from the day, filling the room with laughter and tears.

“We are so grateful to everyone that made the trip to DC,” says Katie Golden, U.S. Pain’s Migraine Advocacy Liaison. “Change starts with migraine and headache disease advocates sharing their stories.”

To find out how you can contact your representatives and ask them to sign on to the Opioid and STOP Pain Initiative Act, see U.S. Pain Foundation call to action. To find out more about Headache on the Hill and to sign up for updates, visit the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy.