International Trigeminal Neuralgia Day of Awareness - St. John's, NL - October 7, 2015.
Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a neuropathic disorder that is characterized by episodes of intense pain in the face, originating from the trigeminal nerve. The pain is so intense that the condition has been known as Suicide headaches. The trigeminal nerve is a mixed cranial nerve responsible for sensory data such as tactition (pressure), thermoception (temperature), and nociception (pain) originating from the face above the jawline; it is also responsible for the motor function of the muscles of mastication, the muscles involved in chewing but not facial expression. It is estimated that 1 in 15000 people in the world suffer from this condition. It is more common in females than males.
In 2013, the first ever International Day of Awareness for TN was launched and events were held all over the world, including one in Cavendish, NL, in honour of two locals who suffer from this condition. In 2014, there was a small commemorative event in St. John's, that was co-hosted by Jennifer McCreath, a well-known local political and social activist, and Kim Noftall, also of St. John's, who suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia.
Kim, Jenn, and others are in the process of launching the province's first formal non-profit organization that will have a mandate of raising education and awareness about this medical condition, as well as lobby for research into finding a cure. The organization hopes to launch in 2016.
While no event is planned in St. John's this year, Jenn and Kim encourage people to wear teal blue, as this is the official colour of facial pain on October 7, 2015.
For more information:
Trigeminal Neuralgia Support Group - based in Cavendish, NL
Trigeminal Neuralgia Association of Canada
International Petition for World Health Organization