Trigeminal neuralgia is a rare neurological condition which occurs without warning, causing intense pain, usually only on one side of the face, lasting for a few seconds or minutes. The pain attacks can come in volleys and there can be hundreds of attacks a day. Imagine what it would be like not to be able to smile or eat or speak because the pain is so severe it renders everyday actions impossible. Unable to engage in normal social activities, patients become isolated, withdrawn and depressed. For some, the pain has been so prolonged and intolerable they have committed suicide.
Hi Lorraine, first things first, what's your role at Trigeminal Neuralgia Association UK?
I’m a Trustee and Regional Support Group Leader.
Which causes do Trigeminal Neuralgia Association UK support?
We support people suffering with chronic facial pain from the Trigeminal Nerve.
What sort of things do you use donations for?
We use donations for research to find a cure for this life changing condition.
To find a company to produce medication targeted at TN without awful side effects.
At TNA, we are volunteers and we need ongoing training for our helpline and Support Group Leaders.
We need to employ part-time coordinators for the following roles: Social Media, Helpline & Support Groups and a membership officer.
We also need to pay for venues to hold support group meetings for our members.
What have you worked on that you're most proud of?
Here at TNA, we are proud of all the support and care we give to our members, and the knowledge that we have helped them.
What are the biggest challenges still to overcome?
Finding a permanent cure or medication dedicated to Trigeminal Neuralgia without life changing side effects.
Other than donating, what’s the one thing people can do to support your charity and its mission?
It would be great for people to try and raise awareness of the condition and the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association.
We’d also like to encourage more sufferers to join TNA. We need to educate the health and dental profession about the condition, and to help employers have more understanding of the condition.