Shirley Kessel

Miles for Migraine

Shirley’s work experience in medical sales, teaching, non-profit volunteering, as well as thirty-five years in the medical administrative field, has enabled her to reach a pinnacle as a professional migraine advocate. During this time of evolutionary change in the headache disease space, she has led Miles for Migraine, from a small non-profit, to the largest live, patient-participatory event host organization in the country. In her current role as Executive Director of Miles for Migraine, she is passionate about finding a cure through creating new opportunities for people to advocate, learn, and be part of a thriving community. Her role as a community creator and disease communicator has supported her to become one of the most vocal patient advocates in the headache disease community. Her personal experience with this disease has empowered her to become a thriving patient advocate and caregiver. Migraine has affected her life since birth, as Shirley’s mother was severely debilitated and spent many days in bed leaving Shirley to care for her younger siblings and working father. Shirley has alternated between both chronic and episodic since age 16. Shirley has three daughters, and two inherited migraine. The youngest had to drop out of high school in 11th grade, did not attend her prom, nor walk at her graduation with her peers. As a parent, watching her daughter live in her dark bedroom for a year was the most devastating event of Shirley’s life as a parent and caregiver.