Cindy McCain, who has suffered from migraines for more than 20 years recently launched the “36 Million Migraine Campaign” on the TODAY show.  This is an effort by the American Migraine Foundation to raise $1 for each of the 36 million Americans suffering  migraines.

In an interview on TODAY, Mrs. McCain,  wife of Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, described her migraines as a vise or nail in her forehead, stating “It’s indescribable to those who have never suffered.”  Commenting on the urgent need to raise more money for migraines, which affect 12% of US citizens, Mrs. McCain  stated, “It affects our economy. It affects our daily life. It affects our school children. Everything is involved in this.”

McCain said she suffered headaches during her husband’s 2008 presidential bid, as evidenced by the sunglasses she was often photographed wearing. “That’s when it was happening, big time,” she said. “That was the sign.”   She acknowledged her migraines in some circles in the past, but found most people didn’t get the severity of the disorder — a problem she calls the “stigma” of migraine sufferers

The pain of migraine is hardest on family members, who often don’t get just how bad it feels. “They want so much for you to feel well and they don’t understand it,” McCain said.

More than 15 genetic mutations have been identified that leave people susceptible to migraines.

For more information on the 36 million migraine campaign, please visit the official page at

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