Miles for Migraine, Winston-Salem

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have a migraine attack?

Here’s how three Winston-Salem area patients described it to researchers last year: 1

  • “The pain is so severe. I can’t work, can’t take care of my kids, can’t take carpool. I have to sit in a dark room and can’t do anything…I am losing a day of my life.”
  • “It’s debilitating…I’m sick feeling, I’m dizzy, I’m nauseated. I don’t want to be in the light. I can’t think straight. I can’t talk straight.”
  • “I have to stop everything. I can’t work, can’t interact. I have to go to my room and just sit in the dark…and it can take 24-48 hours. And if it’s extreme, I have to go to the hospital and get a shot.”

Migraine disease impacts 40 million Americans—about 1 out of every 4 families. So, chances are, you probably have a friend, coworker, neighbor, or family member with migraine. Unfortunately, many sufferers of this invisible disease feel that, as another local patient put it, “…nobody takes it seriously and nobody knows what a migraine is…so I feel lonely.” 1

Worldwide, migraine is the second leading cause of disability, affecting a billion people. More than 90% of people with migraine cannot function normally during an attack, which can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. Migraine affects three times more women than men, and is most prevalent in those between the ages of 25 and 55.

Because migraine is an inherited neurological disease, it’s not uncommon for several members of a family to have it. The best-known symptom of migraine is headache, which includes:

  • Moderate to severe throbbing, pounding, or pulsing head pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Pain that gets worse with physical activity

What’s not as well known is that migraine is much more than “just a headache.” (In fact, there is even a hashtag: #NotJustaHeadache). While symptoms can vary from person to person, in addition to headache, migraine can include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia) and/or sound (phonophobia)
  • Dizziness, numbness, concentration problems, difficulties with speech, or weakness

Miles for Migraine

In 2022, 24 cities across the U.S. are hosting Miles for Migraine, a 5K run/2-mile walk/relax event to raise both awareness and funds to support research and migraine education. The only Miles for Migraine event in North Carolina this year will be in Winston-Salem on October 15th. On that day, runners, walkers, sideline supporters, and local business sponsors will come together to make a powerful local impact on migraine disease.

Dr. Rebecca Wells, founder and director of the Comprehensive Headache Program at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, said, “The money raised by the local Miles for Migraine event will directly benefit our mission to provide headache education, exceptional patient care, and cutting-edge headache research. We want to decrease the stigma around migraine, and this event helps us do just that. It will also help us train future headache doctors so that more patients can get the help they need.”

The Miles for Migraine run-walk-relax event will kick off at 8:30 am on October 15th at Jamison Park, 285 Meadowlark Drive in Winston-Salem. We are working to decrease the disruption of migraine disease on patient lives—and we invite you to partner with us! There are four ways you can be involved:

  1. Walk or run with us on October 15th. To register yourself, a group of friends, or your entire family (kids welcome!), simply use the QR code in the ad on the opposite page. (Or, go to and click “Register.”)
  2. Volunteer at the event. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, registration, nutrition, clean-up, as course monitors, or to cheer on those who are walking or running. Go to and click “Volunteer.”
  3. Donate to our team. Go to and click “Donate Now” in the column on the right.
  4. Participate virtually. Want to be part of the fun but can’t be with us on race day? There is also a virtual event! To participate virtually any time between October 13-17th go to and click “Register.”


  • Estave PM et al. Learning the full impact of migraine through patient voices: A qualitative study, Headache 2021 Jul;61(7):1004-1020.

100% of the money raised by Miles for Migraine will directly benefit the mission of the Comprehensive Headache Program at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.


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