Three years ago Libby developed a severe headache tha rendered her unable to speak or use her right hand. That day was the start of a journey for answers, research, medicine, and relief. We now have a name for what affects her—hemiplegic migraine—but the search for causes and the right treatment continues.
Libby is a vibrant, enthusiastic, funny, and intelligent 17-year-old. This disease has pulled the rug out from under her. In January of 2011, she was forced to stop attending school because she was simply too sick to go regularly or to keep up with the work. “These migraines have turned my life upside down,” she says. “The person who I was before these headaches doesn’t exist anymore.”
In August of 2011, Libby decided to form The Libby Fund at the NHF with the goal of increasing public awareness and funding research into causes and cures. “No one acknowledges that headaches are a real disease,” says Libby. It’s not ‘just a headache’ if you can’t talk for 36 hours. It’s hard to maintain friendships. It’s been tough on my family. My entire life has been pushed back a year. I don’t want other people to have to have to deal with that.”
Nothing is going to stop Libby from working toward her goals: graduating high school, moving on to college, and helping others understand the critical importance of funding research and educational for this terrible disease. Currently Libby is back in high school and plans to graduate in June 2014. To date, the Libby Fund has provided grants of $25,000 to two research facilities working to understand the causes of hemiplegic migraine and to determine appropriate treatment.
~ Emily & Paul Kandel
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