National Headache Foundation - Award Recipients

Award Recipients and Headache Heroes Recognized for Making a Difference in Migraine and Headache Awareness

CHICAGO The National Headache Foundation (NHF), a non-profit organization that raises awareness and provides support for the 40 million individuals living with headache and migraine disease nationwide, hosted its annual fundraising event on Saturday, October 24. The Virtual Golden Gala raised more than $140,000 to further support NHF's mission of increasing headache awareness, supporting research serving as an educational resource, and advocating for anyone living with the disease. More than 800 supporters from across the county participated in the virtual Golden Gala celebrating NHF's 50th anniversary as an organization.


In addition to the silent auction and entertainment interludes, several notable individuals received esteemed honors as NHF announced the recipients of its Lifetime Achievement Award, Partners in Excellence Award and the first-ever recipient of the Dr. Seymour Diamond Advocacy Award.  Also, NHF launched its first annual Headache Heroes awards program highlighting four individuals making an impact in headache disorders ranging from healthcare providers to patients and caregivers to advocates.

National Headache Foundation - Award Recipients

The NHF recognized the following individuals for their outstanding efforts tied to headache and migraine disease:

Lifetime Achievement Award – Cen Xu, Ph.D., of Amgen Inc., an American multinational biopharmaceutical company, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her groundbreaking research in migraine, a disease that affects nearly one in five women. Xu co-invented the very first FDA-approved migraine prevention treatment that blocks the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptors, which are believed to play a crucial role in migraine.

Partners in Excellence Award – Mark Glackin, senior vice president at Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, was selected for the Partners in Excellence Award for his leadership, dedication and attention to the widespread problem of headache disorders. Glackin continually strives to lead innovation and find new ways to increase awareness, education and treatment for migraine disease. 

Dr. Seymour Diamond Advocacy Award – The NHF Executive Director Mary Franklin received the first-ever Dr. Seymour Diamond Advocacy Award. Having joined the staff of the Diamond Headache Clinic in 1970, Franklin has been a leading advocate for those with headache and migraine disease for more than 50 years with her accomplishments ranging from Managing Editor of the magazine, Head Wise to authoring or co-authoring several articles and books on the topic. Franklin continues to exemplify everything the renowned headache expert and founder of the nation's first private headache clinic, Seymour Diamond, M.D., stood for and supported.   

Headache Heroes

In celebration of NHF's 50th anniversary, the first-ever Headache Heroes Award Recipients were recognized for making a difference in migraine and headache awareness, research, medicine, advocacy and patient care.

Healthcare Provider Honoree – Steven Herzog, MD, Medical Director of the Headache Institute at Texas Neurology is a healthcare provider who has made an impact with his dedication to the field, always going above and beyond to serve those with migraine and headache disease.

Patient Honoree – Danielle Fancher began experiencing constant migraine pain as a teenager and has lived with the disease for the past 12 years. Not one to let the disease control her dreams, she frequently speaks at events, published a memoir '10: A Memoir of Migraine Survival' and has a successful career in marketing in New York City.

Caregiver Honoree – Dennis Rotondi, husband and father, has helped care for his wife since 2007 while also juggling a fulltime job and caring for their child. His wife can experience 15 debilitating migraine attacks in a month, and his experience has led him to become an advocate for migraine and headache disease including attending Headache on the Hill, volunteering and presenting at RetreatMigraine and working on the Global Healthy Living Foundation caregiver resource guide.

Advocate Honoree  – Eileen Brewer, a pillar of the migraine community, has dedicated countless hours to the success of RetreatMigraine, a conference led by and focused on people living with migraine disease, and is credited for working tirelessly through her own migraine disease to better the lives of those around her. Additionally, Brewer is the president of ClusterBusters, which supports research for better treatments and a cure while advocating to improve the lives of those struggling with cluster headaches.

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