Meet Our Ambassadors
These individuals are dedicated to spreading the Shades for Migraine message and raising awareness for the disease by sharing their experiences. Each of them has a unique story and background. Below you will learn about women who have very different stories, however, what they all have in common is that their lives have been deeply impacted by migraine. Our medical ambassador has a personal connection to migraine but is also someone who has dedicated their career to helping people who live with the disease. These ambassadors are available for press and speaking opportunities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Iliana Victor is a 16-year-old competitive ballet dancer from New York City. Chronic migraine has riddled Iliana’s life since she was 9 years old, experiencing high-intensity pain every hour of every day. Because of her disease, Iliana was forced into homeschooling since she was 10 years old because the pain made it difficult to get through her work on most days.
Despite Iliana’s struggles, her passion for dance is something migraine cannot steal from her. Balancing her dancing career and her disease doesn’t come easy, especially when most people don’t understand that she is in unrelenting pain every day. The pain, light and sound sensitivity, and nausea make getting out of bed difficult, let alone dancing through it.
Iliana now lives in Miami to train competitively. She joins Shades for Migraine to let others know they are not alone in their struggles with migraine. Iliana says, “I’ve always felt so alone with migraines, never meeting anyone who understood the pain or seriousness of it. I’d love to help others keep pushing to make their dreams come true and do what they truly love the way I love to dance.”
Grace Gold is a beauty and wellness journalist based in Rutherford, New Jersey. Grace works independently for herself, a career solution grounded in her chronic migraine journey that began at the age of 11. With over 15 years of experience as a reporter for broadcast, print and digital media, Grace has contributed to Good Morning America, TODAY, ABC, CBS, and NBC; magazines including Marie Claire, People, and BRIDES, and digital sites Vogue, Elle, Allure, Women’s Health and SELF. Her mission is to help viewers and readers look and feel their best.
This mission translates into her work as a Shades for Migraine ambassador where she wants to let others with migraine know that they’re not alone and that there are more options than ever before to get help. She wants to give others hope with her own story. Grace said, “I truly never imagined I would be able to have the quality of life that I currently have”.
When asked how migraine has impacted her life, Grace responded, “How hasn’t it?” Grace’s chronic migraine disease progressively grew worse, experiencing daily attacks throughout her 20s and early 30s. It profoundly affected her schooling, work, relationships, and quality of life. Grace built her life around getting better, which began with finally finding the right headache specialist and taking the reins of her daily life by building an independent career and creating a schedule focused on migraine prevention. Grace offers a piece of advice to others trekking through their migraine journey, “Be gentle and kind to yourself, and don’t give up”.
Beauty & Wellness Journalist
Jo Beckwith aka "Footless Jo"
YouTuber & Public Speaker
Jo Beckwith is a YouTuber who has created a community of over 200,000 people who can connect with her experience in some way or another. She has been living with migraine since she was 20 years old (almost 10 years). It has impacted every area of her life – from social and romantic relationships to work opportunities, travel, and more. Beyond migraine, she is also a below-knee amputee. Though she’s gone through the experience of losing a limb, living with migraine has been “exponentially more challenging”. From the outside, her amputation is the only ailment that can be seen but ironically the invisible illnesses she deals with are even more debilitating.
Trying to find a way to balance having an actual life with trying to fight through migraine attacks multiple days a week has been exhausting. She commonly cancels appointments and meetings because a migraine attack has begun to flare up unexpectedly. She’s spent countless hours (and dollars) in doctor’s offices trying to find solutions that will actually work.
Franchesca Fiorito, MD
Headache Physician & Assistant Professor
University of Puerto Rico
Dr. Franchesca Fiorito is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine. Dr. Fiorito completed her neurology residency at the Boston University Medical Center in Massachusetts. She continued her education with a fellowship in Headache Medicine at the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. She is board-certified in Neurology and Headache Medicine.
After completion of her fellowship training in Headache Medicine, Dr. Fiorito returned to Puerto Rico and was the first and only fellowship-trained and board-certified Headache and Facial Pain specialist to practice on the island for 6 years. Since her return to Puerto Rico, she has dedicated her career to the development and growth of this field. She has developed a formal curriculum for the field of Headache Medicine for both the medical students and Neurology residents at the University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Fiorito introduced specialized headache medicine clinics that were incorporated into the curriculum of rotations for Neurology residents. She has developed a growing headache center dedicated to the care of people with migraine, in which medical students and residents of multiple specialties rotate.
She currently serves as the President-Elect for the Puerto Rican Academy of Neurology, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering health professionals the opportunity to learn more about the field of Neurology. She was chosen by the American Headache Society for the Emerging Leaders Program in 2019. Beyond her extensive experience caring for patients with migraine, Dr. Fiorito has a personal connection with the disease as she has lived with chronic migraine for more than 10 years.