Here’s to 2019

A message from interim CEO Nicole Hemmenway.

Dear pain warriors,

As many of you know, 2018 was a challenging year for U.S. Pain Foundation. In spite of the obstacles, it was still a year full of progress and growth for the organization. I wanted to take a moment to look back over the last 12 months with you.

One of the things people with pain desperately need is to understand they are not alone and that there is always hope. With that in mind, we held two support group leader training weekends in Chicago and Phoenix this spring, and grew our support group network offerings nationally throughout the year.

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Nicole Hemmenway was appointed Interim CEO of U.S. Pain earlier this spring. Below, she answers some insight into her pain journey and her vision for the organization going forward.

1) When were you diagnosed with chronic pain?

I’ve lived with chronic pain for most of my life. In 1994, at the age of 13, I sprained my ankle playing basketball–but the pain refused to go away. I was eventually given given the diagnosis of reflex sympathetic dystrophy (known today as complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS). After extensive physical therapy didn’t ease the pain or reduce my symptoms, my doctor decided to try an epidural nerve block. It worked–I was fortunate to  go into remission for four years. But then, as a senior in high school, a high-five gone awry brought the condition back in full swing.

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Hemmenway speaking during the award presentation

On June 13 at the Friar’s Club in New York City, U.S. Pain’s Nicole Hemmenway received Grunenthal’s annual Unsung Hero Award. The Unsung Hero Award is given to an individual who has excelled in the five following areas: relevance of the individual’s work in the pain community, effectiveness of their work, evidence of the individual’s creativity in their work, a broad outreach by the individual to all those in the pain community, and the devotion of the individual in building awareness and change for the pain community.

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