Redondo Beach, California 

Written by Ronetta Stokes for Chronic Migraine Awareness Inc.

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Sometimes in our lives

We all have pain

We all have sorrow

While attending RetreatMigraine in person these words resonated with me. We all have pain, we all have sorrow.

The weekend brought together a community of people living with or caring for someone with this invisible disease called migraine. I was able to attend and be a speaker while soaking up knowledge, advocacy, and strength. I attended the ECHO dinner Thursday night while meeting some old and making new friends. Looking forward to the upcoming projects they have laid out.

The following afternoon I registered and got my welcome bag full of goodies. I listened to two community stories from great advocates. Shortly afterwards I attended a session called Migraine at Work & Work Migraine. This session discussed how much work is missed and the decrease in productivity. Moving on to yoga something I haven’t  done in years. Lastly the dinner  is where I saw strength in numbers. Witnessing all advocates in one area; powerful.

I couldn’t wait to get started on Saturday events which was a morning walk and see the beautiful Pacific Ocean. My next session was a support group. We got to share our stories and hear other stories. What a remarkable group of people. I had to take a much needed break to rest. Once I was able to go back I went to the green light room and I as able to try a lotus mat, some coloring, and more relaxation. There was a room dedicated to new migraine devices. I was able to chat with the vendors and try on these devices to bring information back to my migraine specialist. Lastly to end the night was a pajama party. We laughed , played bingo, and a special appearance by Allie Sealey who put her migraine into a song. This song still plays in my head.

What a great and exhausting day and night!

Sunday we had another morning walk. While on this walk I got the privilege to walk and talk with Dr. Bill Young. I went to Dr. Young’s session on treatment updates. More research and awareness is finally being brought into the light; from the darkness. Let me tell you about the giveaway bonanza. There were so many gifts lined up from lamps, weighted blankets, and so much more. Once your number is called you get pick a gift.  I was able to get a lotus mat. 

Shortly after was time for my community story. Anxiety has started to kick in as I approached the stage I looked out and saw family not strangers. Once I was finished I was greeted by so many for sharing my migraine journey. I’m thankful, grateful, and blessed beyond measure.

I posted a question asking for one word to describe the the weekend; community; inspiring, validation, hopeful, and empowering. There were so many more words to describe RetreatMigraine. 

Thankful to Eileen, CHAMP, the vendors, everyone who made this event possible. 

Looking forward to next years experience in Charlotte, North Carolina

Thanks,

Ronetta Stokes

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