Its been estimated that 1/7 – 1/10 women have Endometriosis and I am one of them. Most women go about 10 years in physical and mental pain, confused because they don’t know why they feel like this, going from Doctor to Doctor until they finally find one that knows about knows about the disease to refer them to a specialist who can then diagnose them. My symptoms started at 12 years old and I was diagnosed at 23 with stage 4 Endometriosis. At 13 years old I was prescribed the hormonal birth control before having sex even crossed my mind.
For 11 years I wondered why I was in so much pain and if I could not handle the symptoms of menstruation as well as other women seemed to. Was the pain in my head? (No it was not). 11 years of a mixture of Depression and Anxiety. 11 years of what seemed like endless things going wrong with me and my life. 11 years of not having a clue what was going on with my body. I can tell you right now that having something wrong with you, when doctors and other medical professionals don’t understand the disease or have proper education on it is VERY frustrating and disconcerting. It wasn’t until I was finally diagnosed I felt like I could help myself and control the symptoms of the disease rather than continue to let them control me. Since diagnosis I have dived deep into research into Endometriosis and tried things from Vegan and GF diet to Ayurvedic remedies and various lifestyle changes. You can read more about the things I do that have helped me on my website.
Fast forward 3 years to 2019 and I am HAPPIER and HEALTHIER than ever! My passion for helping other women stemmed from this disease and how I felt pre-diagnosis. I want to help more women who have struggled feel the vitality, confidence and freedom I feel now. I do that everyday with my wellness blog, wellness coaching, and when I teach yoga and about essential oils. I share all of the knowledge I have gained which has TRANSFORMED my life.
A couple of months ago I saw a picture of women in a sunflower field, radiating freedom and happiness. These women were clearly happy and comfortable with their bodies. Something that many endo sisters struggle with because of the symptoms and results of the disease including (but certainly not limited to) scars from surgery, and the ‘Endo Bloat’ that can make us look pregnant. One of these pictures is featured above. This image sparked an idea! I could make a Calendar to raise money for Women with Endometriosis with similar pictures. We all deserve to feel that freedom and joy that the ladies in these pictures feel. Weather we are big, small, covered in scars or have clear glowing skin, we are all equal and worthy of loving ourselves. The sunflower has been representative of women’s suffrage and Yellow has been Endometriosis awareness. The calendar will be very similar in style, but will be larger groups of women.
“It’s my favorite flower, and like all of us, sees the light and together we grow”Carla Cressy, Founder, Women with Endometriosis Charity
The idea quickly grew and caught the attention of Endo sisters world wide. I have over 40 ladies from 5 countries so far who are so excited to co-create this calendar with me. We are hoping to cover as many countries as possible to educate the public about;
- How common the disease is and wide spread
- Helpful natural remedies and lifestyle changes that have eased symptoms and improved quality of life
- Encouraging messages of Hope and Health
A secondary goal for calendar is to create “Wellness Packages” for women with Endometriosis from lower income families. The packages will hopefully include things like an essential oil that can help with pain, a hot water bottle, herbal tea like red raspberry leaf, a menstrual cup or organic cotton pads and more. I am looking for sponsorship and donations to help with the costs associated. I estimate needing around $5000.00 to cover printing costs, costs of assembling care packages and shipping.
The aim of the Calendar is to educate and inspire women across the world. To empower women to help themselves. If you or anyone you know would like to contribute to this charitable project by being featured in the calendar or financially please reach out.