"Making the unknown known is the important thing."
—Georgia O'Keefe

Awareness Actions

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 2020
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – and something For Grace will consider sparking legislation around once Sacramento is out of its COVID freeze. This new concern is born out of our founder’s recent remission from triple-negative breast cancer (the worst prognosis) – and her concern of a recurrence. The For Grace team sends our good energies to all who have survived this brutal disease, and who’ve been traumatized by the treatment and live in anxiety as a result…
For Grace Joins Global Patients Alliance
June 2020
For Grace is proud to announce it has joined the World Patients Alliance (WPA), a newly formed nonprofit umbrella organization of patients and patients’ organizations around the globe. The WPA provides the platform to empower and raise the patients’ voice for the provision and access to safe, quality and affordable healthcare. With this initiative, For Grace hopes to bring awareness and champion solutions to the gender disparity women in pain face with healthcare worldwide.
Rename “Catastrophizing” Survey
June 2020
Inspired by For Grace founder Cynthia Toussaint’s Twitter Chat feedback, Stanford University’s Pain Medicine department has launched a survey that seeks input from chronic pain patients and others about the term “pain catastrophizing” – a phrase that has near universal disdain from the women in pain community. Please take this short survey to have your opinion heard. And please read this 2016 National Pain Report article by Toussaint which puts this issue into perspective.
Women In Pain Summit Report
May 2020
final report was released this week by HealthyWomen spotlighting their July 2019 summit that focused on gaps and challenges in treating and managing  chronic pain in women. Key findings and recommendations in the report included efforts to reduce stigma surrounding chronic pain, inroads to address racial and gender disparities and improved methods of assessing pain. For Grace leaders John Garrett and Cynthia Toussaint participated on a panel that examined the chronic pain experience from both the patient and caregiver perspectives.
US CRPS Survey Launches
January 2020
For Grace, in collaboration with other pain advocacy organizations and Grunenthal pharmaceuticals, has developed an in-depth Complex Regional Pain Syndrome survey that aims to develop greater disease understanding . In order to truly comprehend this poorly understood disease, we need your help – and hope you will share your CRPS experience from diagnosis to current day. We believe this survey will greatly contribute to better therapies and quality-of-life outcomes. Please link HERE to take this anonymous survey.

2020 Focus on Pain-Cancer Connection
January 2020
This year For Grace will focus almost exclusively on the Chronic Pain-Cancer connection. Due to our founder developing cancer as a result of chronic pain and embarking on treatment that will likely give her more pain, we want to spotlight this link to help others challenged by one or both diseases. Our themed projects will include relevant Share Your Stories, a new  livestream on The Mighty, a documentary and CD, ongoing National Pain Report posts and a conference. Please revisit soon to see what’s going on – and if you fit into this focus, we hope you’ll get involved.
Jane Goodall on Miracle Makers
December 2019
For our Special Holiday Edition of Miracle Makers, Cynthia Toussaint interviews Jane Goodall in the midst of her frenetic world tourDuring this enlightening half-hour podcast, their conversation touches  on suffering, resilience and forgiveness along with other issues that promote wellness for women in pain. Link HERE to listen to this inspiring, intimate conversation between Cynthia and Jane – one that will raise your spirits and give you hope for the New Year…
Better Pain Scales Recommended
November 2019
The US Pain Collaborative, comprised of advocacy leaders from across the pain community, today announced the publication of a report, titled “Chronic Pain Assessment: Patient Perspectives.” The report, driven by survey data on patient awareness and satisfaction with current chronic pain assessment instruments, provides patient-informed recommendations that should be taken by physicians, patients, and advocacy organizations immediately to improve the lives of people living with chronic pain. The full report can be found HERE. For Grace is proud to be a part of this effort to improve pain assessment for millions struggling to be believed!
2018 Pain Summit Report Finalized
August 2019
For Grace’s White Paper committee finalized their report on our November 2018 Pain Summit which convened health care luminaries from across California. This comprehensive report – which provides an overview of chronic pain as an over-looked public health crisis, comprehensive integrative medicine as the care model to move pain management forward and a recommendation for a California Pain Center to  serve the 6-12 million people impacted by persistent pain – will be shared with legislators, staffers and health agency leaders at For Grace’s legislative briefing on Wednesday, August 14 at the Sacramento State Capitol. Thank you all who made this report possible – and here’s to better days ahead!
For Grace Weighs in on NPR Piece
March 2019
For Grace founder Cynthia Toussaint consulted on a recent NPR Invisibilia podcast and digital article that spotlighted a unique therapy for young women impacted by Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS.)  An NPR journalist reached out to Cynthia for her response about the critical backlash this March 8 podcast, titled the “The Fifth Vital Sign”, generated from the pain community . Link here to download the revised Invisibilia episode – and watch for more to come…Miracle Makers Launches on The Mighty
February 2019
Exciting news as Cynthia Toussaint launches her new “Miracle Makers” live stream show on The Mighty’s Facebook Chronic Illness page this Thursday, February 28 @ 1:30pm PT. Join Cynthia as she interviews inspiring women who are changing the chronic pain world for the better. This month she talks with Miracle Maker Dr. Ginevra Liptan who is a fibromyalgia warrior as well as a leading clinical voice for this life-upending disease. Link HERE for more information…  

For Grace Consults with Today Show
July 2018
For Grace consulted on a special segment hosted by Maria Shriver on NBC’s Today show that spoke to gender bias in healthcare. Among many aspects of this troubling topic, our spokesperson pointed out the enormous bias toward women in pain that often gets in the way of optimal care. Besides describing her decades long  experience of being told that her pain was all in her head, she spoke to the thousands of women who report similar complaints to For Grace. Here’s a LINK to this in-depth segment.

For Grace’s Migraine Awareness Campaign
June 2018
For Grace takes Migraine seriously.  So much so that we’ve launched an awareness campaign that includes an educational webpage chock-full of tools and resources for those who suffer. We’ll also be sharing and writing much about Migraine on social media and blogs. Learn more about this little understood, serious chronic pain condition that impacts one billion people worldwide!

For Grace Touts Pain Research
April 2018
For Grace has signed on to a letter that encourages US Senator Todd Young (R – Indiana) to put forth legislation for the Center for Disease Control to collect epidemiological data on chronic pain including the incidence and prevalence of all conditions, syndromes, diseases, etc. The legislation proposes to create a National Chronic Pain Surveillance System and allow researchers and federal agencies to use the data collected.

Pain Patient/Carer Perspectives
March 2018
Pleased to share two interviews For Grace leaders recently gave in Amsterdam while working with a Global Patient  Advocacy Dialogue Group. This group aims to improve health and pain care for people around the world. Cynthia Toussaint’s interview speaks to the pain patient experience – and John Garrett’s focuses on the carer’s perspective.

For Grace in Gender Bias Book
February 2018
For Grace and our founder is featured in the new book Doing Harm about gender bias in the medical system. Women In  Pain, check out an excerpt and pre-order today to help generate buzz for this eye-opening, urgently-needed book! Please link here: https://www.mayadusenber y.com/book/

Backing Women’s Health Research Day
January 2018
For Grace is proud to support the efforts of leaders in science, politics, healthcare and academia to recognize January 25th as Women’s Health Research Day. Senator Tammy Duckworth and Representative Jan Schakowsky are planning to introduce a congressional resolution to acknowledge this important awareness effort. For Grace will contribute actions that include signing onto a letter endorsing the day, sharing announcements of the day via social media and, most importantly, joining a coalition of organizations interested in empowering women to be a part of medical research.

California Hails September as Pain Awareness Month
January 2018
California Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson is again teaming with For Grace to author a resolution that will proclaim September 2018 as Pain Awareness Month. The resolution will also observe a day (TBA) in September as Women In Pain Awareness Day. It’s a great pleasure to work with Senator Jackson and her amazing staff, most notably Bethany Renfree and Fernando Rameriz. We send out our deepest gratitude.

For Grace Represents US in London
November 2017
Cynthia Toussaint travels to London this week to represent the USA in a global CRPS focus group. These meetings aim to give pain management industry a thorough understanding of the CRPS patient experience with a keen eye on similarities and differences around the world.  For Grace is proud to be a part of this effort, one that will ultimately improve the lives of all who suffer with this potentially devastating disease.

For Grace Joins Caregiver Month Campaign
November 2017
November is Caregiver Awareness  Month in the US! To honor this, For Grace Director John Garrett is sharing his considerable carer insight and perspectives throughout the month on the Pain Matters Facebook page. John is the primary caregiver to his partner, Cynthia, who has been challenged by pain and fatigue conditions for 35 years. As such,  he has a deep appreciation for what it takes to care for someone in pain along with much wisdom about how to love and sustain through the toughest of times.

For Grace Supports CVS Boycott
October 2017
For Grace founder Cynthia Toussaint doesn’t like it when others get in the way of pain care. In a recent Pain News Network article, she supports a boycott of CVS and their new policy to restrict opioid prescriptions. Cynthia also takes issue with other pain advocacy organizations as For Grace stands alone in this action that defends pain patients. Link here to read this provocative piece.

For Grace Travels to Amsterdam to Empower Patient Input
September 2017
For Grace leaders were in  Amsterdam on September 25-26 to participate in an ongoing Global Patient Advocacy discussion. The last discussion led to our founder Cynthia Toussaint presenting chronic pain at the World Health Organization’s General Assembly in May in Geneva. Many constructive discussions were had that will accelerate a better tomorrow for people in pain.

For Grace Signs on to White House Awareness Effort about Pain Relief
July 2017
For Grace has joined 73 organizations in writing a letter to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The letter highlights the need to implement the National Pain Strategy as part of a long-term strategy to address the chronic pain and opioid epidemics, as well as the critical care needs of people with pain.

Pain Advocacy Hits the Stage in the Big Apple
June 2017
For Grace leaders are heading to New York City this week to participate at the 2017 US Patient Day. This year’s meeting will explore the chronic pain experience and identify ways patient organizations can work together to improve the quality of life for 100 million+ people impacted by this overlooked health challenge

For Grace Sparks Migraine Relief
January 2017
For Grace Founder Cynthia Toussaint was invited to join a dozen thought-leaders to brainstorm how women process severe physical and emotional pain. This two-day think tank took place in Philadelphia on January 17-18th. The conclusions from these workshops will ultimately help women who suffer from migraines.

OIC Super Bowl Ad Spotlighted
February 2016
The Los Angeles Times ran an informative article that takes a close look at the Super Bowl OIC ad that For Grace partnered on. Find out more about the controversy surrounding the ad seen by 115 million people by linking here. Also, Forbes.com wrote a positive, in-depth article about the spot and why OIC is different from normal constipation.

For Grace Scores an OIC Touchdown
February 8, 2016
For Grace was proud to partner on a Super Bowl 50 commercial that educated viewership about a common, challenging side-effect of opioid use. To learn about Opioid-Induced Constipation (OIC) and to view this one-minute spot, please link to OICisDifferent.com

For Grace Launches New Website
June 2015
Teaming with their original website designers, Evenson Design Group, For Grace leaders are excited to be crafting a new and updated site. Utilizing all current digital platforms, the site will be more user-friendly, aesthetically dynamic and interactive – freshening the “face” of For Grace and the plight of women in pain

Pain Matters and For Grace Headline at Premier Pain Conference
Palm Springs, CA—May 13, 2015
For Grace Spokesperson Cynthia Toussaint will speak at the American Pain Society’s 2015 annual four-day meeting. After a screening of the Discovery Channel’sPain Matters, she’ll panel with two others featured in this groundbreaking film. The event will also launch PainMatters.com that Ms.Toussaint will guest blog on.

Top Women’s Health Website Spotlights For Grace
March 2015
A powerful, in-depth piece about For Grace leaders’ 32-year experience with chronic pain and caregiving is running on Lifescript.com. “How a Hamstring Tear Derailed a Dancer’s Life” focuses on how CRPS can upend a person’s life as well as those around them.

For Grace Spotlights Chronic Pain and Opioid-Induced Constipation
December 2014
Recently For Grace leaders served as spokespersons for an internet media tour in Atlanta. Besides sharing their 32-year chronic pain and caregiver experience, they started a conversation about a common side effect of taking opioids for the treatment of chronic pain: opioid-induced constipation, also known as OIC. Link here to see one of the interviews and please visit this new blog dedicated to OIC.

Women In Pain Conference Highlight Video
September 2014
Enjoy this highlight video of For Grace’s 7th Annual Women In Pain conference – a day filled with laughter, tears, play and HOPE! Please link here to catch the magic of the day. Photography by Dana Gambill; song performance by Cynthia Toussaint

Acceptance Explored at For Grace’s 7th Annual Women In Pain Conference
Los Angeles, CA—September 12, 2014
“Accepting Pain – Our New Normal” was this year’s theme where we explored behavioral therapies and techniques for better wellness. During this empowering day, women in pain and their caregivers discovered their personal “Hero’s Journey” to a new normal. Please link here for more details about this amazing day! 2014 Conference Press Release / 2014 Women In Pain Conference Webcast Replay

For Grace Partners On Women In Pain Survey
August-September 2014
For Grace partnered with the National Pain Report on a confidential, first-of-its-kind pain survey that gave women the chance to share their chronic pain experience openly and honestly. The results drawing on 2000+ respondents were unveiled at our 7th Annual Women In Pain conference by National Pain Report CEO Ed Coghlan. Please link here to read NPR’s many stories about this exciting project. Women In Pain Survey Results / NPR Article on WIP Survey Results

9th Annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium on Advances in Pain Research
Bethesda, MD—May 28-29, 2014
For Grace Spokesperson Cynthia Toussaint was a featured speaker at this prestigious event that spotlighted cutting-edge research about pain and its management. Ms. Toussaint shared her 32-year chronic pain experience, advocacy work and impressions about the research presented at this hope-generating symposium. View Day Two of the worldwide webcast here.

For Grace Honored With Civic Legacy Award
Los Angeles, CA—December 10, 2013
For Grace was the proud recipient of this year’s Albert R. Rodriguez Civic Legacy Award. This honor was presented by LA-based Community Partners, a highly-regarded fiscal sponsor to over 150 nonprofit projects that provide essential services to local and worldwide communities.

Groundbreaking Chronic Pain Documentary Premieres on The Discovery Channel – Now Available Online!
November to Present 
For Grace partnered with, consulted on and is featured in Pain Matters, a one-hour film that is a must see for people with pain, their loved ones and healthcare professionals. The documentary premiered in November and will be picked up internationally. GOOD NEWS – Pain Matters is now available to view online at http://www.painmatters.com/

Battle for Grace Launches on MariaShriver.com
Book Now Available 
For Grace founder Cynthia Toussaint, in collaboration with national best-selling author Linden Gross, has written her book, Battle for Grace: A Memoir of Pain, Redemption and Impossible Love. This book is bringing comfort and understanding to women in pain through its raw depiction of her three decade battle against pain and the healthcare system that failed her. Ultimately, it’s an inspiring story about personal transformation, impossible love and triumph of the human spirit. Battle for Grace launched on Maria Shriver’s Architects of Change website on March 19th! For more information and to order book, please link HERE. / Battle for Grace makes Maria Shriver’s Top Five Can’t-Miss Reads / Battle for Grace Press Release

Women In Pain Conference Highlight Video
September 2013
Please link HERE to enjoy the memories of For Grace’s special day – one filled with information, inspiration, laughs, tears, hugs and mostly bonding with new and old friends. Photography by Dana Gambill; Song Performance by Cynthia Toussaint

For Grace’s 6th Annual Women In Pain Conference
“Getting Real: Transforming Hidden Truths Into Positive Action”—September 13, 2013
This year’s enlightening, empowering event was hosted in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, September 13th! Our 2013 program examined the unfortunate coping choices women in pain make to survive, positive options to move beyond the pain and, finally, compassion and forgiveness for others and ourselves. For more details, please link HERE. / 2013 Women In Pain Press Release / 2013 Conference Webcast Replay / 2013 Conference Highlight Video

2013 WIP Conference Generates Much Media Attention!
August-October 2013
Excited this year’s event again garnered media buzz. Features and interviews included PainResource.com, KPFK radio, PainPathways magazine, NBC radio KCAA,pre- and post-event articles on the National Pain Report and HealthCentral.com. Another year of great coverage and awareness raising!

Battle for Grace Author Serves as Guide on MariaShriver.com
April 2013
For Grace Spokesperson Cynthia Toussaint is now a Guest Blogger on Maria Shriver’s Architects of Change website. Her first article titled “Overcoming Suffering, Battling for Grace” was posted in March – and her second, titled “Words of Love“, posted in April. Look for more to come…

Women In Pain CD Released!
November 2012
Our spokesperson, Cynthia Toussaint, has recorded her first CD – and this testament to the healing power of music therapy is dedicated to all Women In Pain. Dubbed “The Wonder Project”, this nine-song collection captures the essence of the pain experience while conveying the joy of reinvention and coming out the other side to better wellness. To hear and/or order the CD, please link here. The Wonder Project Press Release

For Grace’s 5th Annual Women In Pain Conference
Los Angeles, CA—September 14th, 2012 
This year’s empowering, successful event was again held in downtown Los Angeles at the California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities. Our 2012 theme, Finding Your Tribe, focused on chronic pain and relationships with a special emphasis on our all-important caregivers! 5 CEUs were available for Registered Nurses and For Grace gifted 50-plus scholarships to women in pain and their caregivers. Please link here for event details and a webcast replay of the entire conference. 2012 Conference Press Release / Conference Highlight Video

ABC News Covers For Grace’s 2012 Women In Pain Conference!
September 2012
For Grace’s annual conference was spotlighted in an ABCNews.com article on Sept. 13th. Titled “Annual Women In Pain Conference Focuses on Relationships“, the piece sheds light on caregiving and chronic pain. For Grace is proud to have generated, consulted and interviewed for many media stories around this empowering event.

For Grace Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary
April 2, 2012
We celebrate 10 years of providing aid, comfort, education and empowerment to those challenged by chronic pain – an amazing journey that leaves us grateful and humble for the opportunity to serve such a resilient community. As we move forward, let’s collectively pledge to take every action possible to achieve a better world – so that one day all of our current trials and tribulations will be but a memory. This is our dream of never again… For those we have served – and will serve – we send our love. For all those who have helped us along the way, we send boundless grace and gratitude.

For Grace and Diane Sawyer Team Up!
February 2012
For Grace inspired, consulted and interviewed for an ABC World News with Diane Sawyer segment that focused on women being disbelieved and under-treated for their pain conditions. Headlined “Women In Pain“, this piece will be picked up by all ABC affiliates in the US.

Jane Goodall Nominates For Grace Founder for Woman of the Year Award
January 2012
Honored to announce that For Grace Spokesperson Cynthia Toussaint was nominated by Jane Goodall for the Los Angeles County Commission for Women’s 27th Annual Woman of the Year Award. Women nominated for this prestigious award must exhibit outstanding leadership for women’s rights, promote women’s equality and be exemplary role models.

For Grace’s 4th Annual Women In Pain Conference
Los Angeles, CA—September 2011
“Reframe Your Pain, Reclaim Your Life” was this year’s theme where women in pain attendees and viewers from around the world gained insight to essential self-care tools needed to thrive with pain. For event information and webcast replay, please link hereConference Highlight Video

For Grace Spreads WIP Awareness in Africa
January 2011
On a trip to Tanzania, East Africa, For Grace leadership enjoyed meeting with Endulen Hospital Medical Director Dr. Joshua Benson to discuss the impact of chronic pain on their female patient population. We look forward to a continuing dialog…

3rd Annual Women In Pain Conference
Los Angeles, CA—September 2010
Spiced with celebrities, laughter and live performance, For Grace hosted its 3rd Annual Women In Pain Conference at the California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities. This year’s theme was “Raising the Curtain on Pain” and focused on Integrative Medicine and Creative Art Therapies. Please link here to see a webcast archive of the event!

2nd Annual CME Women In Pain Conference
California Science Center, Los Angeles CA—September 2009
For Grace co-hosted a second innovative conference. Our theme was “Diversity: No Woman In Pain Left Behind” and it was staged at the California Science Center in September to co-incide with National Pain Awareness Month. We had upwards of 500 attendees and the event was webcast live worldwide! Please link here for details about the conference, including media coverage and a webcast archive.

Toussaint Featured in Pain Advocacy Resource
July 2008
For Grace encourages women in pain to access a great advocacy resource, “In the Face of Pain”, to bring to your community awareness of the pain gender divide through media, legislation and civic groups. WIP—take action and be heard today!

View Our WIP Public Service Announcement!
June 2008
This 30 second spot, titled “Unsung Heroes“, features actor Jack Coleman, star of NBC’s hit drama, “Heroes”. In the PSA, Jack delivers our message about the pain gender divide to the world!

Inaugural Women In Pain Conference: Gender Matters
Duarte, CA—May 2008
For Grace partnered with Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative and City of Hope to hold the first annual Women In Pain conference. We assembled a world-class roster of speakers/presenters, along with performers/artists, who educated and inspired women in pain and their health care providers.

Proclamations Trumpet For Grace’s Inaugural Women In Pain Conference
May 2008
For Grace co-hosted the 1st Annual CME Women In Pain Conference: Gender Matters which was held at City of Hope in Duarte, CA. Please link here for details.
•  CA State Senator Sheila Kuehl has proclaimed May 30, 2008 “Women In Pain Awareness Day” in California. There was an announcement on the Senate floor.
•  LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky did the same in LA County. There was an announcement at a supervisor’s meeting.
•  LA City Councilmember Wendy Greuel did the same in LA City. Greuel and Toussaint made a presentation at LA City Hall. This was broadcast citywide via LA CityView 35.

For Grace Leads Women In Pain Initiative into National Forum
May 2004
From the genesis of For Grace founder Cynthia Toussaint’s California WIP hearing and awareness month resolution, a coalition of pain advocacy leaders has formed to model this effort across the nation.

“Share Your Story” Project Launched
May 2004
To celebrate RSD awareness month in California, For Grace rolls out its newest project, “Share Your Story,” which features compelling stories from across the country and beyond.

Trailblazing a New RSD World
September 2003
For Grace was excited to launch our RSD National Awareness Campaign (NAC) to bring much needed RSD attention to communities across the country. The talents and passions of those with RSD, along with their families and friends, provide the catalyst for this sweeping initiative. NAC will ultimately promote early diagnosis and treatment, bring hope and community to those suffering in silence and trail blaze a new, better RSD world.

California Pain Clinic/Center Database Project
March 2003
To develop an important tool for our RSD clients, For Grace has forwarded a letter of introduction along with RSD education materials to over 100 pain clinics/centers throughout the state. This is phase one of our project to compile a comprehensive database of RSD treatment providers in California and to educate these providers about our work.

Women In Pain Petition Alerts the U.S. About Gender Pain Care Bias 
August 2002 (ongoing)
For Grace Founder Cynthia Toussaint  authored a petition addressing the current medical gender bias that women experience with pain management in this country. She continues to circulate this important statement among pain communities and women’s groups and is receiving signatures of support daily from around the world.