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Maria Marotta, a Life Lost to Migraine

Posted Jul 19 2010 12:00am

The hopelessness of Migraine has claimed another life. Maria Marotta, the wife of legendary comedian Rich Little, gave up on her battle with Migraines and took her own life Thursday, July 15. She was in her early 40's.

Marotta and Little met on a blind date and were married in Hawaii in 2003. Prior to the wedding, Little joked that he planned to say, "I do," in all 160 of the voices he had imitated during his career.

Long time friend Gord Atkinson told reporters:

"Rich was distraught and said that he had lost the love of his life. He said she was everything to me... She left him a loving note and said that she couldn't go on... The pain she had was too excruciating and she couldn't cope with it anymore... The pain was becoming unbearable for Marotta and she didn't know what else to do anymore."3

Atkinson commented that Marotta had seen a number of doctors, but had never been able to determine why her Migraines were so severe.

Unfortunately, Marotta is not the first Migraineur to give up the battle and take her own life. Rich Little isn't the first to lose someone dear to him because of this disease.

When I was reading the news articles about this, I found myself wondering why Marotta chose to give up rather than continuing to see answers. One would think that a woman in her position would have the financial resources to seek treatment wherever she wanted, and from what's been said about how much Little loved her, one would think that he was very supportive.

Still, the pain and other debilitating symptoms of Migraine take their toll. And, not everyone is comfortable asking questions of doctors and continuing to yet another doctor if not making progress. I suspect that more people take their lives because of severe Migraines than we'll ever know. We know about this case because Marotta was married to a celebrity.

Please, if you find yourself considering harmful measures or taking your life because of Migraines, stop and get help. We still need far more research, and treatments are far from perfect, but we have more treatment options than ever before. Partly because of the Internet, we have more information and support resources available than every before. Please, don't let Migraine take you away from your life and your loved ones.


1 Clarke, Norm. " NORM: Rich Little's wife left a loving note. " Las Vegas Review-Journal. July 18, 2010.

2 Leach, Robin. " Condolences to Rich Little on the death of his wife Marie ." Las Vegas Weekly. July 16, 2010.

3 Lofaro, Tony. " Rich Little's wife dies of apparent overdose. " July 16, 2010.

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image from © Teri Robert, 2010
Last updated July 19, 2010.

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