News & Research

$8 Million Migraine Research Gift: A Thank You to Wendy & Leonard Goldberg

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg,

As I learned of your generous migraine_hopegift to UCLA for migraine research, I was so overjoyed and overwhelmed that I couldn’t stop crying. The news is exciting for me personally, but the tears were not only for me. They were for all the amazing people who have endured enormous pain and sorrow because of this disease. In UCLA’s press release, Dr. Charles said, “Migraine is generally under-recognized as a major medical problem, in part because it is not fatal. But it is not hyperbole to say that it can ruin lives.” He is so right.

In December 2009, years of constant, ever-worsening pain, nausea, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction nearly devoured my last glimmers of hope. I went to bed each night wondering if I would survive the next day. I later learned that my husband had the nearest in-patient psychiatric clinic programmed into his phone and came home for lunch to make sure I hadn’t attempted to take my life. His unwavering support, a team of great doctors, and amazing family and friends got me through those bleak, hopeless days.

I am extremely fortunate. So many people I hear from as a patient advocate are lacking social support, financial resources, and access to health care providers who understand migraine. The stories are heartbreaking—lost marriages, estranged children, opiate addiction, poverty, homelessness, suicide. Living with any chronic illness is difficult. When the disease is poorly understood and heavily stigmatized, as migraine is, it can render a person’s life, and even self, unrecognizable.

Upon hearing of your donation, I shed tears of joy for my own future, of course, but mostly I cried for the millions of people whose lives are in turmoil because of migraine. Your donation will fund research that could ultimately give millions of people relief and reduce the stigma of migraine. The magnitude of your generosity cannot be overstated, but you’ve also done something that, to me, is even more remarkable. You have given hope to people who struggle desperately to see beyond a life dominated by disabling migraine attacks. You have given us the invaluable gift of a glimpse of a better future.

Thank you. Thank you so very much.

Kerrie Smyres

Readers: Many of you have expressed a desire to thank Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg yourself. You may leave your comments below and I will pass them along. Also note the correction that the gift was $8 million for migraine research.

46 thoughts on “$8 Million Migraine Research Gift: A Thank You to Wendy & Leonard Goldberg”

  1. I do not have the words to express my gratitude of your generosity, thank you. I am lucky enough to be a person who suffers where medication allows me to continue to function generally pretty well, however, I am also very concerned of the long term effects the medication is going to have on my life expectancy. It is light of hope to know that there will be research done. Thank you for this gift to so many.

  2. Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg,

    Thank you! So many days I prayed to win the lottery to give like you have given. I’ve suffered for almost 26yrs worth these migraines. The older I got the worse they became. By age 28, I was no longer able to keep a job. Prospecting employers would call my last job and find out I missed many days at work that it showed no one would ever hire me. I stayed the disability process. I had a 3yr old and a 7yr old. My oldest has seen me get worse over the years, while my youngest doesn’t know me anyway else. I’m terrified on a daily basis. I’ve gone through 6 or 7 doctors, if not more. I’ve gone through so many medications that don’t work. I’ve done Botox, acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and tried all the “cures” that are going social media and the Internet. None of it to help. All I dream for is having a normal life and you have helped make this seem a little closer. Thank you! God bless you from all of us that suffer.

  3. As the caregiver to my husband who has had to give up his medical practise due to severe debilitating migraines, I wept with joy when I read about your generosity! As a physician myself, I have seen and experienced what this disease can do to families, to people, to marriages, to one’s self-esteem. This is a neurological disease and deserves the care and attention one would pay if it were MS, ALS, dementia etc… It is time for doctors, the medical community, the public, governments and employers to take this disease seriously. Migraine disorder carries a huge economic and social burden in its ability to decimate, to destroy and cause suffering! THANK YOU for your generosity, your leadership, your vision and your humanity, dear Goldbergs!!!! May God bless you 💕

  4. I am on 5 preventatives, an anti nausea med and I’m also in pain management. Because, my chronic migraines one day decided to just never stop. So, now I have pain 24/7. It just depends on the level. If it’s raining, it’s out of control. If somehow my body decides to ignore I’m on continuous birth control to stop my periods, I feel like I’m pretty much on my death bed. We didn’t go to pain management until we tried a hundred other ways first. This was the only way I could actually be a functioning human right now. It’s not the best way since it is only covering up the pain. But, until there are new developments I am at a standstill. I want to thank you 8 million and one times for your generosity. You are beautiful people and you have given so many people hope, where I think there wasn’t any left.

  5. Dear Mr. & Mrs. Goldberg,

    I want to truly thank you for such a loving & blessed gift your donation will be for all of us who are migraine sufferers. The further research should benefit those of us who are chronic sufferers & deal with this daily.

    I have personally had migraines since I was 5 yrs old. They became daily, chronic migraines at 16 yrs old. I’m 46 now! (40 yrs of migraines).
    My parent’s had migraines for a few short years during pubescent. My maternal grandmother had them as well. My 28 yr old daughter gets them during her menses. I’m unable to work due to these. I had to move in with my retired parents, due to my chronic daily debilitating pain.

    I have had every test, scan, MRI, acupuncture, ear piercing, preventive, & abortive medication…nothing as worked. I have seen multiple neurologists, including one at Mayo Clinic. Despite this, I still have hope. I know one day I will be pain free along with so many others who suffer like I do.

    Thank you once again for your amazing donation!

  6. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg,
    Thank you so much for your donation. That amount of money can really make such a huge difference in an area where it is desperately needed.
    I am a PhD student in medical research myself, and migraines have been a huge barrier for me on a weekly basis. They really are debilitating as you know, and so many people will benefit in quality of life as a result of your gift.

    Sincere thanks and best wishes
    Helen, Sydney

  7. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg,

    I developed migraines at 25 years old, when I was a father to two young boys. That was over twenty years ago, and I can’t tell you how many family events and just plain “being together” time that I missed because of migraines. My third son began getting migraines at 12, and I am despondent that he will grow up with the same pain I suffer (my sister and niece suffer from migraines as well – seems to run in the family).

    All migraineurs are family of a sort, but one thing you’ll notice is that most, if not all, of the comments here are from women. Yes, they are the majority of sufferers, but sometimes I wonder if men are even more stigmatized for having what others see as “just a headache.” They may be reluctant to admit and/or seek help for the condition, and I see the announcement of your contribution and UCLA’s press release as a positive step toward understanding and acceptance for ALL migraine sufferers.

    The desperation we migraineurs feel for a “solution” to our problem is a step closer to being banished due to your most generous contribution. Please know that we all are so grateful. Thank you, from Matt and family.

  8. I can’t thank you enough for your donation for migraine research. I am a 4th generation migraineur and my children both had their first migraine at 11, making them 5th generation. I do not remember not having headaches/migraines. Something changed with my migraines about 7 years ago and I have not had a pain-free day since then. Your kindness will makes a difference in my children’s lives and hopefully my own since I am only 43. May others see migraines as the debilitating disease it is. Thank you from my entire Jimerson and Morris family.

  9. Thank you for this enormous gift! I am impacted both personally and professionally — I have been a lifelong sufferer of migraines, and I now work with people who suffer from migraines as well. This research will no doubt change people’s lives, and the lives of their loved ones. I can’t thank you enough for your support.

  10. Thank you as someone who has experienced migraines and has a very wonderful friend who suffers so much, I extend my gratitude for your amazing generosity

  11. Dear Mr and Mrs Goldberg,

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart I’ve been suffering from migraines for 30 years and I’m only 45. I currently get migraines about 3-4 times a week. As I’ve gotten older my migraines progressively became worse to the point that I’m unable to work. Also, I normally have to visit the emergency room at least 2-3 times a month because the medication I’m currently taking doesn’t work for that particular migraine. I’ve been on almost every migraine medication that is currently available and after awhile the medication stops working. When I get a migraine I’m unable to do anything I basically have close myself up in my bedroom and go to sleep because all sounds and light effect me to the point where sometimes I’m in tears. Thank you again. I will never be able to express my gratitude to the both of you enough. I will add my prayers. God bless you.

    Mollie Paterakis

  12. As a lifelong migraine sufferer I am so encouraged and relieved to hear of your incredibly generous donation to the cause of migraine research. It is a area of medical necessity that has been long neglected & I know I speak for countless others when I share heartfelt thanks for shining a light on this problem that keeps so many of us in a painful & dark place so often.

  13. I am in my late 30’s and have suffered from migraine for 25 years. I did very well in school and University through use of opiates to control the pain. However at age 25 those medications stopped working, I began to use Relpax on an almost daily basis (I later found out it should only be used 3-4x a month) and eventually had to enter hospital for DHE treatment to come off these strong painkillers. My once very promising career ended due to migraine and I have spent the past 12 years in almost constant pain, spending every spare moment doing my own research to try to be well. My husband and I have decided not to have children, because it takes all my energy to feel well and take care of myself, I often require total quiet, and because I could not stand to have a daughter and witness her go through the same hell. I do not want to pass on my migraine genes. I have had a lot of success with diet controls, but travelling/eating out/holidays/dinner with friends becomes an impossible minefield to navigate, and I am still frequently in pain. It is exhausting and demoralizing managing migraine. Coping with the stress of migraine has changed my personality, I sometimes wonder if I have PTSD. I used to have a lot of potential. I am told they may improve in 15 years time, when I go through menopause and all possibilities of a career are ended. Women are not given the option of sterilization to improve migraine, so another 15 years I will have to wait. I know many, many women in my position. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your generous contribution- you may save the lives of generations of future young women! THANK YOU.

  14. Thank you for such a self-less act of generosity. There is no way to re-pay the both of you other than never giving up on finding a cure. How wonderful it is to see that there still is kindness in the world.
    Patty from Miami, FL

  15. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg, You absolutely have no idea what your generous gift means to me. I have suffered with migraines from the age of 28; I am now 66 and will probably have them the rest of my life, or until a cure is found. I have different triggers, but the most debilitating and frequent are the migraines I suffer with changes in barometric pressure. Everything I schedule in my life must be with the caveat ‘if I feel good that day.’ If I experience a migraine-free day, I consider it a blessing. I’ve always wondered why, when so many millions of people suffer from migraines, there is not more research for this debilitating disorder. Thank you a thousand times over for your generosity and thoughtfulness. May God Bless you and your family.
    Kate Boyer

  16. Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg–
    I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful donation to benefit migraineurs. I have chronic migraine (15 or more days per month), and have had migraines since childhood. My mother and brother are also sufferers (my mom is in her 70s and also has chronic migraine–still). For some of us, the pain seems never-ending, and yet nearly everyone around us either has no idea what we struggle with every day, or they don’t understand the true impact, since we usually don’t appear ill. You are not only contributing to the hope of identifying causes and cures, you are communicating that you know we’re out here, that there are far more of us than most people realize, and that we are carrying unseen burdens and need help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  17. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg and family,

    Thank you so much for your generous gift to migraine research. It brought tears to my eyes. There are many competing, worthy causes you could have chosen, but this one gift may impact my very own quality of life, as well as the quality of life for millions of others, and perhaps for someone in your very own family, too. As a third-generation migraine sufferer, I am grateful for your wisdom and generosity. May you be blessed with good health and happiness all of your days.

  18. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg,
    Thank you for your generous gift for migraine research. I have been a migraine sufferer for 50 years and pray every day for a cure. They have not only dominated my life but also my family’s. Your gift also brings much needed attention to this devasting genetic disease. My son, who inherited these monsters from me, thanks you too. God Bless.

  19. “THANK YOU” does not seem like enough, but it comes from myself and I am sure all of us that suffer with migraines, and find most days unbearable and can see no light at the end of the tunnel. I hope that help comes from your generous donation in my lifetime, or to help in the future for those afflicted with this debilitating illness. Bless you for your generosity.

  20. Thank you! What a generous gift to help migraine sufferers like myself and so many others. It is people like you that make this world a better place. There is so much to learn about migraines and their causes. I am grateful to you for bringing much needed attention to this debilitating illness.

  21. Dear Goldberg Family,

    This is outstanding, wonderful news to so many of us who rarely hear of anything hopeful in the migraine arena. By the commitment of your enormously generous gift, we know you must understand us and our our crying need for help, and that is rare. As Kerrie said, sometimes we who have migraine disease need hope more than anything else. You have given us that hope. Thank you so, so much from my heart to yours.


  22. I am overwhelmed with your generosity! I don’t ever remember not having headaches. I am now 65. You have given me a sense of hope. Thanks, thanks and ever thanks.


  23. Dear Mr and Mrs Goldberg:

    I’d like to extend a heartfelt, personal thank you for your gift towards migraine research.

    I’ve been diagnosed with a condition that in layman’s terms means “continuous, one-sided head pain”. Medically known as ” hemi-crania continua”.

    I have been told there is no known cure, because it is relatively new in the migraine arena as well as relatively rare.

    Fortunately, I have found tremendous relief by taking an anti-inflammatory, and acetaminophen, in between.

    I am concerned, however, as to what will happen if my body gets used to that med and no longer responds to it.

    Thanks to your generosity, migraine sufferers stand a chance of living normal lives again. Lives that not all family members totally understand, or can even begin to imagine what they are like.

    I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to the day when my condition, as well as others’ will be no more.

    Thank you, once again. Those words cannot express the magnitude of appreciation and gratitude they contain.


  24. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg,
    I echo the above thanks. I am 65 years old, have had migraines for 40 years, chronic migraine for 15 years. By eliminating certain foods I am down from 25 migraines a month to 20, which is a huge step for me. THANK YOU for recognizing this terrible disease that is so debilitating and so misunderstood. I thank God for your generosity! Bless you really big time!

  25. Dear Mr. & Mrs.Goldberg..
    I am writing this to you with so muvh gratitude and aloha from my heart. You can not begin to imagine what a beautiful, generous donation like this means to all migraine sufferers. I suffer fro gem chronic migraines and my pain and suffering are great. I hope thru your generosity … new findings will be made to help us all. Thank you anf God Bless you!
    Claire S.
    Honolulu, Hawaii

  26. I can’t even remember my life before migraines. It is so depressing to be half of what I could be. Thank you so much for giving me and so many others the gift of hope.

  27. Dear Goldbergs,
    Migraines are an often overlooked disease that affects so many. I’ve personally sat in front of Congressman asking for research funding. Currently NIH is only allocated $13 million dollars a year to Migraine research, or $0.55 per Migraine sufferer. Your $10 million donation is a game changer.

    Your donation helps to break down the stigma of Migraine disease. Our beautifully messed up brains need attention and compassion. You have done both. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    -Katie M. Golden

  28. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg,

    Thank you for this very generous donation. I actually do not suffer from migraine but I have a very dear friend who does. I know this means the world to her. I am so hopeful for her and excited about this research for all those that deal with this disease.

  29. Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg, You will never be able to imagine my surprise and gratitude reading about your generous gift towards finding a cure for migraines. I am 62 years old and have suffered since I was l5. So many people here have told you how migraines have impacted their lives…every word is true and we can multiply that by l,000. Days, weeks and months can run together when migraines become chronic, over the years we have all tried so many preventative and alternative methods of getting them under control – all to no avail, with no hope in sight.

    To find out that you have both taken our disease so seriously and graciously given this gift of not just the money but HOPE, we will be ever grateful. I don’t hold much hope for help in my lifetime, but your gift gives a real chance to the young that are suffering.

    Again thank you from the bottom of my heart,

    Patricia Stratulak,
    Aurora, Toronto Canada

  30. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for myself, I have suffered from head pain 24/7 since I was 22, I am now 65. The pain never goes away, only the intensity of the pain changes. The drs. have tried everything over the years. As I age it becomes harder to endure. God bless you.

  31. I am SO grateful to you. My life has been destroyed by disease, and chroic migraine is the worst of them all for me. I’m invalid. I don’t go out, I spend hundreds of dollars in treatments that barely work and because of that I have no chance of living of my own because of lack of money. I’m almost 30, still living with my father, and boyfriend doesn’t know if he’ll stay because of my disease. I think of suicide everyday. So hearing that there will be more research for treatments give me hope. That’s the only hope I have left, and for that, THANKS a lot. You did a wonderful thing. Thanks for taking migraines seriously. Thanks for understand how it can ruin someone’s life.

  32. To the Goldbergs:
    God Bless you for what you have done towards the help of migraine disease. My daughter Donna suffers from them and we are so tired of people not accepting it for a REAL disease. Thank you so much for this generous gift. My daughter has a blog named The Queen of F-cking Everything..Please check her out.
    Thank you,
    Mrs. Rosemarie Milley

  33. Thank you for such a compassionate gift for research into such an underrated disease! What kind souls you are for giving so much hope to so many suffering people! The world needs more people like you!

  34. To the Goldbergs:
    I hope you get this message. I just wanted to thank you for your generous gift. I hope it will help so many people. I have been a migraine sufferer for 15 years. For many of those years it has been a daily problem. God bless you!

  35. Dear Mr. And Mrs. Goldberg,

    I am grateful and delighted to hear about your extremely generous migraine research donation. I retired on disability pension due to migraine and Meniere’s Syndrome, a condition which has a high co-morbidity with migraine.

    God bless you. May the world benefit highly from your generosity.

    Sincerely yours,
    Parin Stormlaughter

  36. I too wish to thank the Goldberg’s for their generous donation. I quit working full time 20 years ago because of chronic daily HA and migraine. I still don’t go a day without pain, and there are many medications I can’t take because of other conditions. Hopefully research will help develop new drugs and therapies for the future.
    Carolyn Dyess

  37. Dear Mr.& Mrs. Goldberg,
    I do not have the words to express my thanks for your generous gift. I have suffered from chronic migraine most of my life but all of my adult life. They started when I was 11, progressively getting worse when I turned 30. I am now 38. I am struggling to finish a degree that should have been completed ages ago, but the pain, inability to concentrate (among other things) left me either dropping out or skipping semesters. I recently got married & had a baby. My son will be 1 in January & I feel I am not giving him as much of myself as I should because I’ve had a migraine since September. Botox, an infusion & several medication have not been able to break this migraine. I want to die many days because of it. That is my life. My husband doesn’t understand, because when we met they were not this bad. I have a headache everyday if not a migraine. It took years for my own family to see what I was suffering from wasn’t “just a headache”.
    I am so thankful there are people like you, to help break the stigma and fund research on a disease people regularly laugh at.
    God bless you both.
    Rebecca Harvey Klick

  38. Thank you so much for your generous gift to help migraine sufferers. I have had this awful disease for 41 years and cannot even begin to express what “life” has been like. As I’m almost 52 years old, I thought I would have “out-grown” them. But instead I’m meeting more people like myself. We need help. We need awareness. And I’m over-whelmed to hear of your generosity. Thank you and I pray all God’s blessings for you!! xx/oo

  39. Dear Mr & Mrs Goldberg,
    Thank you so much for your generous gift to support migraine research. Migraines ruined my mother’s life and I have been battling them for over two decades myself. There is no way I could adequately express how moved I am by your gift. God Bless you both!

  40. dear mr. and mrs. goldberg,
    thank you for taking us seriously. thank you for wanting to help us feel better and lead heathy and hopefully pain free lives. for the past 19 years i have been struggling with migraines, often on a daily basis. they have impacted all aspects of my life… the fact that you made such a significant donation towards migraine research because you do understand migraine’s impact, i will forever be grateful.

  41. What a wonderful gift you have given us Migraine sufferers all over the world..had Migraine all my life am 74, if they find a cure will be a great breakthrough..thank you so much for your Gift

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