Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Holtsville, NY, dedicated to raising awareness about chronic migraine and advocating for those affected by this neurological disease. Our website serves as a valuable resource hub, providing comprehensive information about chronic migraine, coping strategies, and support for individuals living with this debilitating disease. CMA's vision is to foster understanding and empathy within the community, while also striving to promote public awareness initiatives. Through our online platforms, we offer a variety of resources, events, and outreach programs to enhance the quality of life for individuals with chronic migraine and promote an inclusive and supportive community.
⎯ Chief Executive Officer ⎯
Catherine Charrett-Dykes is a dynamic advocate and influential leader driving change within the sphere of chronic migraine awareness and support. With an inspiring journey marked by personal struggles and unwavering determination, she has pioneered a community focused on empowerment, education, and advocacy. This journey took root when Catherine's own battle with chronic migraine began to shape her purpose, spurred by her daughter's early encounter with the condition. Her commitment led to the founding of Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc. (CMA) through a humble Facebook support page in 2009, which has since grown into a global movement supporting over 45,000 members across five countries. As the CEO of CMA, Catherine has left an indelible mark, earning accolades and partnerships with prestigious organizations like the American Migraine Foundation and U.S. Pain Foundation. Her deeply personal journey, rooted in resilience and transformation, continues to drive her unwavering dedication to advocacy and empowerment.
⎯ Chief Operating Officer ⎯
Nancy Harris Bonk, COO of Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc., is a dedicated patient advocate and educator with a history of aiding those living with migraine disease since 2003. Having experienced migraine attacks since puberty, her life took a turn in December 1996 when a fall resulted in a traumatic brain injury, sparking relentless head and neck pain and chronic migraine attacks. Alongside these challenges, Nancy manages hypothyroidism, depression, anxiety, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, fibromyalgia, and Sjogren's Syndrome. Finding solace in online spaces, she became a moderator, Health Guide, and Community Manager at Remedy Health, a contributor/moderator for Migraine.com, and a U.S Pain Ambassador. In 2011, she established the Western New York Migraine and Headache Disorder Support Group, the first local in-person support group of its kind in Buffalo, N.Y. Recognized for her advocacy, Nancy was named one of the Top Ten Social Health Media Makers in headache and migraine in 2013 and has shared her message through media outlets such as NPR’s 51 ½ %. Actively involved in the National Headache Foundation's Patient Leadership Council and the Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients, Nancy resides in Albany, N.Y., and finds joy in baking, quilting, and cherished moments with her family.
⎯ Secretary ⎯
Christopher Charrett, Secretary Board Member, brings his engineering expertise as a member of the Local 94 International Operating Union of Engineers. With a 30-year marriage to Catherine Charrett-Dykes and two adult children, he's also an Advocate for Removing Migraine Stigma through his involvement in ARMS. Chris actively raises awareness about chronic migraine disease, leveraging his platform to amplify the message of understanding and support.
Julie Tazzia's journey with migraine began at 14 years old, but her diagnosis didn't come until over 15 years later. Starting with episodic migraine, her condition evolved into chronic two decades ago. Engaging with the migraine community, Julie's advocacy blossomed after attending her first migraine conference in 2014. Over the last six years, she's been active in migraine-related website design, Miles for Migraine, Headache on the Hill events, ECHOmmunity's educational program, and Chronic Migraine Awareness volunteering. Currently, she serves as the Director of Donor Development for CMA's Aware Care Triage Kit committee, and she's also a board member. Julie resides in West Bloomfield, MI, with her husband and daughter, having shifted from a career as a sign language interpreter due to migraine symptoms. As the co-owner of Sycamore and Company, she balances her advocacy with passions like glass fusing, flamework, ceramics, photography, and philanthropic work with Zimkids Orphan Trust and Zimkids Orphan Foundation, which supports over 300 orphans in Zimbabwe.
Erica Nicole Carrasco, known as Achy Smile, is a dedicated migraine advocate originally from Midland, Texas, now residing in the Dallas area with her husband, Stephen. Erica's advocacy journey gained momentum in 2018 when she joined the Speak Your Migraine campaign organized by Amgen and Novartis pharmaceutical companies in a joint venture. She would go on to give a talk about her life with migraine at BlogHer, alongside influential women in the health industry. In 2020, she participated in Headache on the Hill, addressing Congress about the challenges of living with hemiplegic migraine and limited access to headache-trained doctors. In 2022, Erica won the Creative Contributor award at the Social Health Networks Awards organized by Health Union for her creative work in migraine advocacy. As the Director of Marketing for Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc., a Partner of the American Migraine Foundation and the Association of Migraine Disorders, and the creator of Achy Smile Shop, where she crafts migraine awareness items, Erica is making a significant impact. She's a member of various organizations, including the Patient Leadership Council Member at Social Health Network, Health Union; a Patient Partner with The National Institutes of Health and IMI-Pain Care's INTEGRATE-Pain Consortium; a Consumer Reviewer for Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) at General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc.; and more. With her blog "Achy Smile," her work as a promotional products consultant and graphic designer with her company Custom Birdie, and her multifaceted advocacy efforts, Erica is a steadfast advocate amplifying the voices of those affected by migraine and neurological disorders.