A disease affecting 1 in 10 women worldwide will be the topic of a discussion at an upcoming lunch at the Southport Yacht Club.
The Endometriosis Association (Qld) Inc. (QENDO) ladies lunch is set to take place on March 16 and will be hosted by 1029 Hot Tomato radio personality and fellow ‘endo sister’ Emily Jade O’Keeffe.
With March being global awareness month for endometriosis, the event is an opportunity to bring women together to help shine a light on the disease.
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Twenty-nine-year-old Gold Coast local Stephanie Needs knows first hand the impact of endometriosis on daily life and will be there throw her support behind the cause.
“I was diagnosed 13 years ago at age 16 and since then I have six surgeries to remove endometriosis from my bowel, bladder, ovaries and cervix,” Stephanie said.
“As I get older my endometriosis has gotten worse by growing faster and my symptoms becoming much more intense. My moods have really fluctuated, impacting my relationships, career and quality of life.
“Endo, like many other chronic diseases, doesn’t just affect me; my personal relationships can also suffer. Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband who has done a lot of his own research to understand endo and how we can support me.
“When it comes to work, it is not uncommon for me to have at least one day per month off work due to extreme pain and cramping. It’s a challenge because you’re always trying to balance your health with your career ambitions.”
QENDO President Jessica Taylor said that while endometriosis is being spoken about more and more, thanks to people like Stephanie sharing their stories, there is still a long way to go.
“Over the past couple of years we’ve seen endo become a much bigger conversation as people are realising the true toll of this disease on the community. I say ‘community’ because it’s not just a ‘women’s issue’—endometriosis has a huge impact on not only on individuals and their families, but on our health system, our education system and businesses across the country,” Jessica said.
“For too long women have been suffering in silence or had their symptoms dismissed due to a lack of understanding of this disease. It has to stop.
“It’s fantastic to hear more people talking about endo and Endometriosis Queensland is working hard to keep this conversation front and centre.”
QENDO wants to remind people that endo is not the end, and that there is a range of support available. Find out more about endometriosis at qendo.org.au.