Although author Jennette Fulda had the will power to lose half her body weight, she did not have the magic power to get rid of the headache that she has had for over a year and a half.
Tired of the pain and countless treatments, Fulda, whose online alias is “PastaQueen,” decided she needed to take action. On August 15, the PastaQueen put on her running shoes and finished A Midsummer Night’s Run, a 5K race in Lexington, KY with a time of 47:53.
“There weren't many water stations so my time suffered, but I was happy to complete the race,” Fulda said, “I hope to improve on [my time] next month at my next 5K.”
Fulda ran not only because her doctors told her that regular exercise can improve headaches but because she wanted to raise awareness about headaches to help other sufferers. With her ultimate fundraising goal of $3,000, Fulda encouraged her friends and fans to sponsor her in the race by donating to the National Headache Foundation’s Migraine Million Campaign. The Migraine Million Campaign goal is to raise $1 million dollars for headache education and research. The National Headache Foundation hopes to rally one million of the nearly 30 million migraine sufferers in America to donate $1 or more to this initiative.
“I wanted to hold myself accountable so that I would finish the race and I knew if people had given me money I would have to finish. I wanted to raise money for the cause for people like me who have been suffering with headaches, and I thought the National Headache Foundation was a great place to donate,” Fulda said.
Fulda gained national media recognition with her 2008 book Half-Assed: a Weight Loss Memoir, which was inspired by her online blog that chronicled her weight-loss from 372 to 180 pounds. In November of 2004 Fulda, then 24, began to track her weight loss. In February 2008, though she had lost more than half her body weight, Fulda developed a debilitating headache that has yet to disappear.
“It was kind of ironic. I was in the best shape of my life and I got this tension-type headache that just wouldn’t go away,” Fulda said.
Because of the pain from the constant headache, Fulda gained back 30 pounds in the fall of 2008. Though she has started to exercise again in attempt to relieve her head pain and get back into top shape, Fulda has decided to share her experiences with the world for a second time. The Indiana based author is currently working on her next book, tentatively titled Chocolate and Vicodin: And Other Failed Cures for the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away.
Though the race is over, Fulda hopes to continue to raise awareness about headaches. Donations can still be made to the National Headache Foundation at the author’s fundraising site (http://firstgiving.com/pastaqueen) or on the National Headache Foundation's Web site (http://www.headaches.org/store/donations.html?cat=253) Fulda's blog can be seen at http://www.pastaqueen.com.