Today marks one year since I became the Blog Manager for Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc. Time has flown by! I have learned so much about blogging while running this blog! It has been fun and at times I have been frustrated with myself, but I wouldn’t change anything about this opportunity that was handed to me. I feel lucky to be able to bring all of your personal stories to the blog. With each story there is the opportunity to learn how others cope with migraine and maybe learn some strategies too.
The history of CMA is amazing and we are going to take a look at that today. Catherine Charrett-Dykes is the Founder and President of Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc. a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit. CMA’s mission is amplifying the voice of the chronic migraine community. (Mission statement taken from CMA’s website.)
Catherine started CMA in 2009 when she was looking for a group for chronic migraine and found that there weren’t any groups like that. As she was looking for answers she started finding others along the way that were also like her. CMA was born from that first group of approximately 20 like minded people. Cat states that she had no intention of CMA becoming anything more than it was at that point in time. The people involved were from all across the country, Cat had never met them in person, but all were living with chronic migraine.
When CMA began it was the only for patient by patient run group. Now there are other groups that are similarly run, but CMA is the only one for chronic migraine. Cat told me that recently while speaking with a rep she was told that we are rare in that we are 100% volunteer. That is a huge deal folks!!!
In 2011, a very exciting milestone occured, our ribbon was recognized. At that point Cat states that it was suggested to her that CMA should be a non profit organization. By January of 2012 CMA had grown to have 200 followers in the community. Then in August of 2012 Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc. became a 501 (c) 3!! CMA was growing by leaps and bounds! By December of 2013 they were 5000 followers strong.
These last few years have seen incredible growth for CMA and we are reaching so many more people now than ever before. This is an exciting time to be a part of this little engine that could!! We reached 137,534 people this year during MHAM, that is an increase of 34,934 from last year. Also during MHAM our Faces of Chronic Migraine participants grew to 50 people! We also saw our site being viewed in 107 countries, that is amazing growth! Some other numbers include our ARMS program which has 230 volunteers who help get our message out there. We also have a program called Aware Care which sends out Triage Kits to people living with migraine and are having a difficult time. This past year 508 kits were shipped and we had 15 Donors helping to supply goodies to our kits. We have completed 3 surveys since the end of 2019 with a total of 850 participants. The blog has had 55 posts in the last year. Our team has added 6 new Director/Manager positions in the last year also.
These are all tremendous numbers for an all volunteer run organization! You all have made this possible and Cat couldn’t be prouder of what we have all accomplished together. Let’s see how much bigger our reach can become this year. Let’s Rally Against Chronic Migraine!!