Scott School teacher running in support of friend living with migraines

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Sixth grade teacher Karen Livsey is mother, fitness buff and friend, in addition to a teacher at Scott Elementary School. On May 13, she’ll be combining all of those passions as she invites students and parents to join her in support of her best friend, Alicia Torborg, in the Fourth Annual Mother’s Day Walk/Run co-hosted by the Association of Migraine Disorders and Miles for Migraine.  

Livsey met Torborg a decade ago when the two women had children of the same ages. They both connected almost immediately over their love of outdoor exercise. “We have done the MS150, several triathlons, the Spartan race, the Bolder Dash, kayaking, open water swimming and hiking together,” said Livsey. “It’s great to have a friend who loves being outside and staying healthy like I do.”

 Livsey and Torborg have seen their children grow and thrive as young adults and despite growing older, the two women continue their outdoor pursuits together. “The only thing that has really stood in our way over the years has been Alicia’s migraine illness. She’s probably the strongest person I know, but I recognize that this [migraine disease] has taken a toll on her,” said Livsey. Because of the debilitating effects of the disease, there have been days when Torborg couldn’t get out of bed due to nausea, headaches and visual distortions brought on by migraine illness. “She’s always coming up with new adventures to go on, or exercise to try. Knowing what she is going through and fighting like she does each day is a motivating force for me. She leads such a full life and doesn’t let it [the disease] bring her down.”

Thirty-seven million Americans have migraine disease and one in four households contain someone living with migraine. It can be a frustrating diagnosis with a plenitude of symptoms and that’s why hundreds of people will gather at Quonset Point on Sunday, May 13 to raise money for headache and migraine research.

 “Migraine is a complex neurological disease that disproportionately affects women,” said Dr. Frederick Godley, president of the Association of Migraine Disorders. “We hold this annual walk/run on Mother’s Day because there are so many moms (and their families) who are affected by it. There is strength in community. We need to de-stigmatize this disease and move research forward. It’s the third most prevalent disease across the globe.”

 The Fourth Annual Mother’s Day Walk/Run, co-hosted by the Association of Migraine Disorders and Miles for Migraine, is a USATF-sanctioned event that will feature fast, flat, scenic courses with water views and cash prizes for top finishers. The start and finish lines will be at the Allen Harbor Marina on Bruce Boyer Road in North Kingstown. Ten-mile and five-kilometer runs will be offered, in addition to a two-mile walk so that people of all fitness levels can participate. On-line registration is now open at MothersDayRace.com. 

“Running or walking this race is a real way to make life better for Alicia and for others like her who have migraine disease,” added Livsey. “I encourage everyone from the Warwick community to consider participating.” 

 The Association of Migraine Disorders is a nonprofit organization with a mission to end the suffering from migraine illness through research, education and collaboration. The organization is committed to developing unique, high-quality informational materials, videos and clinical tools to help a broad range of medical professionals learn how to recognize and treat migraine disorders. AMD is also dedicated to providing information and support for migraine sufferers, and to raising the public consciousness about the impact of this devastating disease.

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