Unshame Pain–the first clip is here!

I’m thrilled to present the first clip of the Unshame Pain Video Project:

[Click “watch on youtube.com” for transcript]

For me, this clip represents the soul of the Unshame Pain Project: imperfect, honest and heartfelt. This is the first clip to be publicly released and I am super excited to share it with you!

Feel free to share far and wide. I couldn’t have come this far without the support of countless people. Please donate here to keep our momentum strong.

Click here to learn more about the Unshame Pain Project.

To watch a Q&A with me about the Unshame Pain Project, keep reading. Continue reading


I’m so heartened by your support

Dear Friend,
Thank you to everyone who has sent the sweetest birthday wishes. I am filled with gratitude and warm fuzzy feelings. I love being 33.

I am immensely touched! Here’s a photo of Buffy and me dressed up and ready to celebrate:

If you haven’t yet made a donation and want to, there’s still time!
-Send checks to:
Unshame Pain C/O Media Alliance
2830 20th Street, Suite 102
San Francisco CA 94110
Note: Check Payee must be “Media Alliance“
Your support is invaluable, whether you donate or not. Knowing that amazing people like you are rooting for my success makes me feel seen, loved and keeps the momentum of my spirit stoked.Thank you.

We are halfway to summer and it feels fitting that I was born right as we enter this in-between space. I am thankful that you are in my life to share it with.


Will you donate in honor of my birthday?

IMG_0474Hi Friends,
On Sunday, February 3rd I turn 33 years old and I have a special request: will you make a donation of $33 (or whatever amount feels good to you) to support my Pain Activism & Education mission?
Increasing understanding for people in pain is my passion and your contribution—whether $99, $33, $11, $3, or whatever your heart tells you—will help sustain and nourish me in the process.
I’m excited to announce that the amazing media advocacy organization, Media Alliance, is officially Unshame Pain’s fiscal sponsor! You can now make a tax-deductible contribution to Unshame Pain:
-Send checks to:
Unshame Pain C/O Media Alliance
2830 20th Street, Suite 102
San Francisco CA 94110
Note: Check Payee must be “Media Alliance“
My grassroots goal for 2019 is $2,333 and, however you choose to contribute, your gift will be tremendously appreciated. As you probably know, I’m excellent at stretching a small budget and my commitment to you is to make the most of every cent you give.
Will you help?
I know that I’ve said it before, but I want to thank you again for all of your support in getting me this far, regardless of whether you are able to contribute financially. I have been hard at work writing grants but funding is limited and your grassroots solidarity helps tremendously. I have a lot planned for this year to continue maximizing my impact and having you to share the fruits of my labor with always makes my work so much more meaningful. I’m truly blessed to have you in my life.
Please forward this email to friends and colleagues you think will be interested.
Thanks for your consideration and for all of the ways you have already helped, even if you don’t know it. I’m enthusiastic to share my next trip around the sun with you!
P.S. Thanks again for taking the time to share your love and support with me!
Here are the donation links one last time:

Thanks for a great year!

Special thanks to all of you who have made 2018 especially sweet.

Here are some photos of a few particularly awesome friends who are all addressing pain by making the world more comfortable, understanding and creative. Check out their links for guaranteed amazingness!

Continue reading

Introducing Buffy the Great

I have an extremely special announcement of a new addition to my family: my service dog Buffy Baruch Simon!


I have been awaiting a service dog through Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) since 2016 and, in late October, I was invited to team training to make my dream a reality. After a two week residential training at CCI headquarters in Santa Rosa, Buffy and I graduated on November 9, 2018 and we are a fully credentialed service dog team.Buffy_grad

Continue reading

Unshame Pain has begun!

I had an incredible time last Friday filming the first on-camera interviews for the Unshame Pain Video Project. This is a huge milestone!

In Oakland with my friend, Andy, man with brown skin, wearing black baseball cap, sunglasses and gray plaid shirt w/me, fair- skinned red head in blue tank top.

The following people and places have my tremendous gratitude for helping to make it happen:

The wonderful interviewees:
J. Adam Austin
Nazanin Szanto
Maikaaloa Clarke
Esther Rojas-Soto

Videographer Extraordinaire Shanon Okay of OKay Productions

The New Parkway Theater in Oakland for providing a location
Shutterbug Camera in Santa Rosa for discounted light rental

All who helped me with accessibility and other support:
Freddie Francis
Andy Duran
Lara Jane Ramborger

I am super excited for you to experience the interviews when they are ready. It is amazing to have come this far since I first had the inspiration for Unshame Pain in 2016. Woo-hoo!

Belated Happy Summer Solstice.

More soon,


Call for Interviewees: Unshame Pain Video Project–pls. circulate widely!

Dear Friends,

The time has finally arrived: I will be starting production of the Unshame Pain Video Project at the end of June!

Please circulate the questionnaire below (or click here: https://goo.gl/forms/dnX5NwoJySlFInYr1) far and wide to help us get together a great list of interviewees—and if you are interested in being interviewed or supporting in another way, definitely fill out and submit the form yourself.

Contributions and/or suggestions for filming locations in the East Bay, volunteering skills or services, moral support/encouragement and financial gifts (paypal.me/MaayanSimon) welcomed and valued!

Thank you so much for all of your love and spirit. It’s always great to hear from you so please say “hi” or get in touch with suggestions anytime you think of it.

It’s so exciting to be realizing this vision and I truly could not have gotten to this point without you. THANK YOU!!

In community,


Musing on Multitudes & Multiplicity

Hello from Pain Activism HQ!

Soon I will have exciting updates about the Unshame Pain Video Project and forward momentum on my Pain Activism & Education vision. For the moment, I am posting some of my musings about the multiplicity of experiencing bodies with illness and pain.

Also, I want to share this wonderful The World We Want To Live In interview project created by my friend Freddie, asking the question, “What is your role & work in this political moment?” Check it out here: https://worldwewanttolivein.com/

Now, on to my Musing on Multitudes and Multiplicity! As always, thanks for reading and sharing your heart.

Ma’ayan Continue reading