City & state: Los Angeles, CA

Age: 37

Role: U.S. Pain ambassador/advocate since 2019

Health conditions: Anxiety, endometriosis, spastic pelvic floor syndrome, IBS, Sjogren’s, and vestibular and chronic intractable migraine.

Tip for pain warriors: “I bought an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) workbook from Amazon and write in a daily gratitude journal that both helped tremendously with my depression and anxiety.”

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Bobbi Blades fighting for chronic pain patients at the New Hampshire State House

City & State: Concord, NH

Age: 65 years old

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2017

What type of health conditions you live with: Rheumatoid arthritis, spondylolisthesis, herniated disk, and IBS-C

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “Hang on to the hope and the belief that you can do this through the support and experience of others, who like you, live with chronic health conditions.  You are not alone. Breathe!”

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City and State: Easton, MA

Age: 30

Pain Warrior Role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2011.

Health Conditions: I live with chronic widespread pain due to lupus and chronic pelvic pain due to endometriosis.

Favorite Tip For Those Living With Pain: “Take time every single day to remind yourself that you are a strong, brave, unique, and amazing person, who is always worthy of being treated with respect and dignity.  Also, never let yourself forget that you possess an intrinsic value that exists just from you being you, and having chronic pain can never negate nor diminish this.”

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City & State: Gaithersburg, MD

Age: 46 years old

Pain warrior role: Advocate since 2019

What type of health conditions you live with: Foot pain neuropathy, disc disease, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, achilles tendinitis, chronic kidney stones, kidney disease stage 3, bilateral Morton’s neuroma, depression, anxiety, degenerative disc disease, cataracts, crest disease, fibromyalgia, GERD, osteoarthritis, myofascial pain syndrome, patulous esophagus, anterior endplate bone spurring, multiple thoracic levels, venous thrombosis , chronic pain syndrome, migraine, contact dermatitis, and joint pain.

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Age: 41

Location: Anderson, Indiana

U.S. Pain Foundation role: Ambassador since 2019

Health conditions: Reflex sympathetic dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, spondylosis, osteopenia, optic neuritis, and psoriasis

Tip for pain warriors: “I have found that pain journaling is helpful in identifying pain triggers, as well as remembering things that have helped lessen my pain in the past (it also helps my doctor). Also, I have found that having a friend who has chronic pain to lend a sympathetic ear during the rough patches helpful, especially when they care enough to call and check on you!”

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City & state: Ashland, OR

Age: 52 years old

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2017

Health conditions: Complex regional pain syndrome and early-onset degenerative disc disease

Favorite tips for living with chronic pain: “Check your expectations. Think in moments versus days or hours (“This is a tough moment” versus: “This is a hard day”). Be empowered by choice, even in the bleakest most painful moments…choose how you are going to respond.”

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Name: LaSheila Yates

Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

Age: 38

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2019

Health conditions: ulcerative colitis, pelvic floor dysfunction, neuropathic pain, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pouchitis, cuffitis, and uveitis

Favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “Be kind to yourself and own your narrative. I’d spent years being angry at my body for failing me at such a young age. I had ambitions, career goals, and felt like it was taken way from me, bit by bit. I still have my rough days, but I give myself grace when times are rough. The mantras I’ve now adopted are ‘I’m owning my story and I’m owning my narrative.’ Both are sweet reminders that everything I’ve endured are part of my life’s journey. I’m Owning It!”

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Heater at the California State Capitol Tour in Sacramento, CA.

City & state: Fremont, California

Age: 41

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2018

What type of health conditions you live with: Chronic migraine disease, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency (caused Cushing’s disease), trigeminal neuralgia, IBS, and IBD.

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “I cope by advocating. Talking about my experiences and connecting with others that have just begun navigating some of the hurdles I’ve overcome helps me feel like I’m giving back.”

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Hometown: Oceanport, NJ

Age: 61 years old

Pain warrior role: Pain advocate since 2018

What type of health conditions do you live with? Daily chronic migraines and chronic neck pain.

Favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “Calm down. And I mean that literally. I spent years trying to be the person ‘I used to be’ before chronic migraines. I would barrel through the day on pain medications and sacrifice my body in the process. I wasn’t until I was diagnosed with severe inflammation in my brain that I started to understand the consequences of not calming your nervous system. Essential oils such as lavender and frankincense, soothing music, and relaxation techniques really helped me to heal my chronic pain. Self-care is definitely not selfish!”

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City & State: Albany, CA

Age: 45

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2018

What type of health conditions you live with: chronic migraine disease, IBS, anxiety

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “Be proactive. Being proactive about my treatment has given me back a sense of control. It has been helpful for me to learn about my conditions and to find ways that my actions and thinking can influence their severity. Chronic pain is not something that I have been able to deal with on my own. I’ve had to reach out and get support from my family and friends, therapists, healthcare providers, and an understanding community of other people with chronic pain conditions. I’ve had to learn new skills, develop new relationships, and embrace healthy habits in order to live each day with as little pain and as much joy as possible.”

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