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You Are In Good Company!


Migrainuer and Post-Impressionest Dutch Painter Vincent Van Gogh's 'Self Portrait With Straw Hat'

Currently on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.


       Celebrities and historical figures with Migraine disease include, among many: President, and architect of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson; the great painters Vincent Van Gogh, George Seurat (after which is named the Seurat effect, a current medical term often used to describe the visual phenomena of scintillating aura aka scotoma), and Claude Monet; great authors Virginia Woolfe, Cervantes (best known as the author of the classic, 'Don Quixote'), and Lewis Carroll who's Migraines are said to have influenced his gifts of literature still so popular today; leaders such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Mary Todd Lincoln; scholars such as psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and Friedrich Nietzsche, the great German philosopher and poet who kept his enemy Migraine closer; and Icon Elvis Presley, the King of Rock & Roll who struggled with the king of all 'headaches.'

Brady Bunch icon Actress & Migraine disease advocate Susan Olsen with MAGNUM Executive Director Michael John Coleman in the WHA booth at the AAN Convention in San Diego, talking about Migraine awareness and her new radio show H20 at ©MAGNUM, Inc.

       Performing artists who suffer from Migraine include Academy Award winning actress Elizabeth Taylor, actor James Cromwell who received a best actor nomination for his portrayal of Farmer Hoggett in Babe, movie star and Friends actress Lisa Kudrow sometimes suffers from attacks, supermodel and Friends actress Elle Macpherson, actress Lee Grant, Grammy award winning singer and songwriter Carly Simon, her number one single "Your So Vain" as popular now as it was in the 70's, country singing giant Loretta Lynn, Susan Olsen of Brady Bunch fame, Star Jones of The View daily TV show, Fred Norris of the ever popular nationally syndicated Radio & TV Howard Stern Show, and endearing & powerful Academy Award winning actress Whoopi Goldberg. It is important to note that for Migraine sufferers who have certain professions, such as the performing arts, which puts them in the public eye, it becomes difficult for them to admit that they have Migraine. With hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions of dollars riding on a performer being on a set on time, the stigma of such an episodic disease can interfere with getting the best job opportunities offered to them. We applaud those with the openness and candor to have spoken publicly about their struggle with Migraine as it helps others who look up to them as role models.

       Currently, some notable public figures suffering with Migraine disease are: Princess Margaret, Jennifer Ringley, the Jennicam girl ( who put her life on the internet 24-7 and inspired the hit movies The Truman Show & Ed TV (she also was kind enough to model for our Michael John Coleman for the series of photographs used to create the animation on our HomePage!), Annie Glenn (wife of astronaut & Senator John Glenn who stood up to Vice President Johnson when she refused to let Johnson and reporters into her home after a launch attempt was scrubbed--a woman made of the right stuff, we might add). Other notable Migraine sufferers include sports basketball greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Scotty Pipen.

       Top athletes cannot hide their disease as skillfully as many actors can, as we saw when MVP Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis almost was knocked out of the Superbowl XXXII due to an ill-timed Migraine attack. Other gifted major athletes who currently fight one of their toughest adversaries (Migraine) include Cleveland Browns Strong safety Marquez Pope, LSU's top quaterback Rohan Davey, and Arizona top runningback J.R. Redmond. Baseball's David Bell of the Seattle Mariners, Dwight Gooden pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins Pitcher Eric Milton, Jose Canseco of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Sacramento Kings Jason Williams have been struck out by severe head-pain and the deep bench of ancillary symptoms from nausea to visual disturbances. Top woman golf pro Se Ri Pak, as well as LPGA leader Kathryn Marshall and golfer Fred Couples have to overcome the unpredictable Migraine hazard. Basketball's Sacramento Kings flashy Jason Williams and collage basketball player Jordan Adams who starts for Kentucky, both have had debilitating Migraine take them from key games.

       Nationally ranked living visual artists who suffer from Migraine include our own Michael John Coleman (for more on Coleman see below), as well as New York painter Janet McKenzie whose work you will find thoughout the site. Other well known contemporary artists include California painter and sculpture Trevor Southy, painter Dennis Frings, and BJ Anderson who suffers from Migraine-like headaches (she is known around the world for her popular renderings of Cape Cod.)

       And finally, some of the most notable Migraineurs of all are mothers, many of whom around the world are challenged by Migraine disease. Despite their disease, they go on to raise families, manage households and/or careers, and contribute to communities. Many fathers, too, are Migraineurs, who continue to care for family and loved ones, carry out careers, build homes, and participate in their communities. To continually fight a debilitating episodic disease while continuing to contribute to others makes them unsung heroes deserving of celebratory status in society as a whole, even though they are not household names. Well, they are ,of course, household names, (as "Mom" and "Dad" are household names) --- so for those who read this and recognize their family member as a Migraine sufferer, give them the love and respect they need and deserve.

MAGNUM Findings Confirm
Elvis Was Without A Doubt A Migraineur.

the king


The Artist: Michael John Coleman

The following has been excerpted from a cover story about Michael John Coleman featured in DCity Magazine by Sophia Muessig titled: The Artist. DCity Mag is a popular Washington, DC cultural magazine.

Have you ever been gripped by an image so powerful that you are stunned in appreciation of its beauty and depth? Michael John Coleman, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit healthcare organization MAGNUM--Migraine Awareness Group: a National Understanding for Migraineurs--also known as the National Migraine Association, is also an artist. He speaks openly and candidly about living with and suffering from debilitating migraines and the one time he had thought about ending it all.

glancing pirouette maquellage
© Michael John Coleman

Self-taught in his primary medium, photography, he is an internationally recognized award-winning artist in alternative-process photography and imaging. Since the early 1970's, when he began experimenting with photographic interpretations of subjects ranging from bicycles to nudes, his work has increased in beauty and intensity. It has been published in numerous national magazines, including the specialized PHOTOgraphic and PROphoto magazines, as well as in books such as The Best of Photography International. Known for its painterly and impressionistic style, Coleman’s work has been exhibited in more than 175 shows. He has received accolades from such authorities as Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, curator of painting and sculpture of the National Museum of Art; Peter Thomas, former den of the Corcoran Museum and Art school; Howard Paine of National Geographic; and William DeLooper, curator of the Phillips Collection. Some of the permanent collections that feature his work are Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and Burroughs Pharmaceutical headquarters in Germany. U.S. Congressman James P. Moran currently displays 24 of Coleman’s works in his constituent offices. Other examples of his work hang in the Principle Gallery, in the historic 200-year-old Gilpin House Building at 208 King Street, Old Town Alexandria.

These major accomplishments in two diverse fields Coleman has achieved in spite of, though at the same time partly because of, an agonizing, disabling disease, intractable migraine. A native Washingtonian, Michael John Coleman started suffering from severe migraines at the age of six. Excruciating pain mixed with mind-numbing drugs has affected everything in his life, from what foods he can eat to what he can achieve physically. He has gone through life walking on eggshells, waiting for the next migraine to explode in his brain. When it does, he must spend days and weeks curled into a fetal position in darkness. Sound and light increase the anguish. They become the executioners of pain.  Continue reading about Mr. Coleman...

Marcia Cross on Migraine

Marcia Cross is enjoying life, marriage, and a successful career as an actress. These days, she's possibly most recognizable as Bree Van De Kamp on "Desperate Housewives."

What you may not realize is that Marcia has had Migraines since the age of 14, and she's speaking out. Check out what Marcia has to say...


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All information offered on the Web Site, whether by a lay person or a health care professional, is for educational purposes only and should not, in any way, be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, or recommendation for treatment. While this information can provide you with a basis for discussion with your health care team, it cannot take the place of professional medical care. Please consult your practitioner.
1999 - 2012 and all other years MAGNUM, Inc. All rights reserved.
Artwork Michael John Coleman, Janet McKenzie, or Cara Weston. All other artists noted by 1976-2012