2015 Participants

Like any fourteen-year-old preparing for high school, Emily Lemiska felt self-conscious about her appearance. She wasn’t worried about her weight, hair or skin. Emily was self-conscious about her abnormally short neck. She asked her parents to make an appointment with her pediatrician to take a look. Emily, her parents and her doctor alike were shocked when an X-ray showed she had Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS)... Read More >

Emily Lemiska
Emily Lemiska

In 1986 Guy LoPresti went to see his doctor. As a 24-year-old college student, Guy didn’t expect anything to be wrong. He had noticed, however, that he had been urinating frequently and the urine smelled sweet. It was during this appointment that he learned he had type 2 diabetes... Read More >

Guy LoPresti
Guy LoPresti

JP Summers has lived with migraines since adolescence. Growing up in Abilene, Texas, she had a strong family support structure and an ideal childhood, playing soccer, learning ballet and attending school. When puberty hit, her world turned upside down. Immediately she went from being that happy-go-lucky, active child to a young girl who suffered needlessly... Read More >

JP Summers
JP Summers

Melanie Dickens was only 10 years old when forced to grow up. She was attending a birthday party on Jan. 24, 2010 when she accidentally fell on her left ankle. When her pain continued to escalate weeks after the injury, her parents took action. They wanted answers as to why their daughter’s sprained and bruised bone wasn’t healing. Three months later, a pediatric orthopedist gave them devastating news. Melanie had been diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)... Read More>

Melanie Dickens
Melanie Dickens

Michele Rice had always wanted to be a teacher. She graduated with a BA in liberal studies from California State Hayward and was employed as a pharmacy technician and a fourth-grade teacher while working on her credential at San Jose State University. She flourished in the classroom. Michele loved her students and being part of the educational system... Read More >

Michele Rice
Michele Rice

At 30 years old, Nick Duggan believed he had it all. He was happy, healthy and married with two beautiful daughters. He ran a thriving business in Queensland, Australia with his wife, Allison. They owned their dream home and were financial secure with insurance plans in place in case of emergency. Nothing could have prepared him for what happened next... Read More >

Nick Duggan
Nick Duggan

Robert Foley has lived with chronic pain for over 40 years. He has diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), progressive vision loss and multi-system injury due to high voltage non-ionizing RF radiation exposure. He has a fractured spine, five herniated discs and arthritis in all his joints including his shoulders and neck, and has had reconstructive surgery to both knees and ankles. He lives with chronic pain throughout his entire body. Each of these ailments stems from his years as a Navy SEAL... Read More >

Robert Foley
Robert Foley

Anthony Ameen is a combat veteran. Having served our country from 2002-2010 as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman, Anthony is the recipient of the Purple Heart, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Valor Distinction and two Good Conduct Medals. For the past seven years, he has lived with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as chronic pain from the injuries he sustained overseas... Read More >>

Anthony Ameen
Anthony Ameen

Casey Cashman is a lively, optimistic 33-year-old. With a charismatic and bubbly personality, no one would ever suspect that she lives with three chronic pain disorders. Her journey with pain began in 2008 when she needed neuroma surgery on her right foot. It was a success. She recovered quickly and returned to her normal life. Unfortunately, the pain returned six months later. With too much scar tissue surrounding the area for an MRI to show what was wrong, her surgeon felt exploratory surgery was needed... Read More >

Casey Cashman
Casey Cashman

Lynne Popadak was in her mid-thirties with a successful career in television and movie production. She loved her work and valued her relationships. Her life was full of adventure and fluidity... Read More >

Lynne Popadak
Lynne Popadak