The Three Es of Migraine Advocacy by Ronetta Stokes
Advocacy is not just a word; it’s action. Taking action means you are standing up for something you truly believe in. Once you take that power you start a mission to support others through engagement, empowerment, and encouragement. I call it my 3 E’s of migraine advocacy.
Engagement is taking what you believe in and engaging others to believe in as well. When I started my migraine journey I felt alone, unprepared, and unaware. I began to step out of my comfort zone and speak up for myself. I found others on social media who were going through the same things I was. I started to engage myself in conversations with others. I was getting educated on migraines, the disease, diagnosis, and research.
Empowerment happened when I started to take on more initiatives on migraines. I empowered myself to learn more and more so I could advocate for myself and others. I began reading more books, listening to doctors on new medications, and joining more groups. I became aware that there is so much more to be done on migraine research, awareness, and advocacy.
Encouragement is when I started sharing with others the need for advocacy and awareness. I wanted to encourage others to step outside their comfort zone. As the saying goes, “reach one teach one”. I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life as this was done for me. By the encouragement I received, I was able to participate in Miles for Migraine events, speak with the mayor of my town. She proclaimed Chronic Migraine Awareness day in June of last year. I was also able to have a conversation with the president of the hospital and provide education on migraine disease. I also participated in Retreat Migraine. When I say amazing that’s an understatement. I learned so many valuable tools to take with me everywhere I go. I gained a new community of friends. I was telling everyone how to get involved. I had a voice and I wanted to be heard.
Advocacy can start anywhere, anytime, any means necessary as long as you do something. Take the time to find what you are passionate about and put it into action. One would be amazed at all the connections you will encounter.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou