A powerful voice in the pain community and beyond, Paul Gileno is the founder and president of the U.S. Pain Foundation. Gileno, a chef by training, started the organization in 2006 after a work injury led to several severe pain conditions and forced him to close his thriving catering business. Since then, Gileno has grown U.S. Pain into the leading chronic pain advocacy organization in the nation, with more than 90,000 members across the country. The overarching mission of the group is to connect, inform, empower, and advocate for the 100 million American living with some form of constant pain. Toward that goal, U.S. Pain offers dozens of support and educational programs, including its flagship program, the INvisible Project, which highlights patient stories. In honor of his efforts, Gileno has received several awards, including Unsung Hero Award from Grünenthal USA in 2014, the Pain Educator of the Year Award from the American Society of Pain Educators in 2015, and a Presidential Commendation from the American Academy of Pain Medicine in 2017. He also sits on multiple pain-related advisory boards and task forces. Gileno resides in New York with his wife and two sons, and in his spare time, loves to cook for family and friends.
Nicole Hemmenway is an author, motivational speaker and patient advocate. Her book, No, It Is NOT in My Head: The Journey of a Chronic Pain Survivor from Wheelchair to Marathon, details her struggles and triumphs in dealing with complex regional pain syndrome, a debilitating neurological disorder. Nicole, who believes that all patients have a story to tell, currently serves as vice president of the U.S. Pain Foundation, the leading chronic pain advocacy organization in the nation. Through her work with U.S. Pain, she founded Heroes of Healing, a support group network, and directs the INvisible Project, a magazine and gala that highlights the courageous stories of people living with pain. In September 2015, Nicole was featured in the centerfold of USA Today as part of a chronic pain campaign, and in 2017, she received the Unsung Hero Award for her work in the pain community. Nicole lives in the Bay Area with her husband, two sons and three lively animals.
Jenni Grover Prokopy
Jenni Grover is founder of ChronicBabe.com, where she draws on her experience with fibromyalgia and a handful of other conditions to teach women how to craft incredible lives beyond illness. Since 2005, Jenni has helped countless women through her website, magazine articles, videos, and speeches around the world. For the past three years, she has been the editorial consultant for the INvisible Project—using her expertise and own personal connection with pain to share stories of strength, wellness, and inspiration in the face of adversity. Jenni lives in Chicago with her husband, Joe, along with an army of house plants.
Katie M. Golden
Katie M. Golden is a professional patient, writer, speaker, and patient advocate.
She worked for 15 years in the community banking industry before her episodic Migraines became a chronic, everyday occurrence in 2011. This disabling disease left her unable to return to her beloved job. She instinctively turned to writing, a hobby of hers. She then joined the writing team at Migraine.com to share her experiences with the 36 million Americans who suffer from Migraines. She has expanded her writing reach to different audiences but with a similar message: “living a fulfilled life while managing chronic pain (and, in her case, migraine).” A native of West Virginia, Katie and her long-term boyfriend currently reside in Santa Monica. She believes in a balance of medication, self-healing measures such as yoga and deep-breathing to manage her chronic disease.