Nicole Hemmenway is a leading voice in chronic pain awareness and an advocate for patient rights. Having lived most of her life with complex regional pain syndrome, she overcame what doctors told her was a hopeless situation and became not just a survivor, but also a thriver. In her memoir No, It Is NOT In My Head: The Journey of a Chronic Pain Survivor from Wheelchair to Marathon, Nicole shares her experiences navigating through the medical system.
For many years during her pain journey, Nicole worked with the National Pain Foundation to help raise chronic pain awareness. It was during this period that she realized the power of her voice. She finally saw that her story mattered. She supports various organizations that provide hope and help to those living with pain.
In 2010, Nicole’s dream to form a patient-focused organization for those with pain came to fruition when she joined U.S. Pain Foundation. She immediately wanted to become involved in this organization that understood the challenges those with pain regularly endure while working to help those suffering find empowerment, community, hope and information. She is honored to have an active role in creating programs that are not only needed, but also beneficial, to the entire pain community.
Nicole created the now U.S. Pain-sponsored online site, Heroes of Healing, www.heroesofhealing.com, where caregivers and those with pain can share personal stories of struggle and triumph. She is proud to serve as Vice President of U.S. Pain Foundation as well as Director of the INvisible Project.
In September 2015, Nicole was featured within the centerfold of USA Today for MediaplanetUSA’s “Chronic Pain” campaign. The campaign shed light on new innovations in treatment, readily available therapies and resources in an effort to bring awareness and help people to live fulfilling lives while battling chronic pain.
Nicole lives in the Bay Area with her husband, two sons and three lively animals. After fighting so hard to find treatments that fit her lifestyle and body, every day is a gift. She enjoys being active, eating clean and embracing the little moments in life. It is her continued mission to inspire other pain warriors, while advocating for their rights to proper care.