Though I am a proud April baby, the month of March is quickly becoming my (other) favorite time of the year. The cold grip of winter is finally easing up. Oh, and let’s not forget about International Women’s Day! But there is another reason that I LOVE March so much.
March is International Endometriosis Awareness Month!!!
This is an annual event where women from all across the world (and those who support them- hi guys!) come together to talk about this invisible disease that affects and an “estimated 176 million women worldwide.”
We put on YELLOW, the signature color of Endometriosis Awareness, as we organize marches, take to social media, write, and find any other way to bring attention to Endometriosis (see my article on this site, “ Endo…What?” to learn more!)
It was only in 2017 that I myself became aware of this global mobilization effort. I came across a vast network of “Endo Warriors” from celebrities to everyday people across the world who have organized on various platforms to push for change in how the medical field approaches this disease and to help women understand the fact that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Ever since then, I too have been inspired to advocate for myself, share my story, increase awareness within my sphere of influence, and do my part to help others find relief.
I visited endomarchnews.org to find a city near me for ENDOMARCH2019.
It led me to Worldwide EndoMarch Chicago!!! EndoMarchChicago is a licensed chapter of the Worldwide Endometriosis March, a 501(c)3 not for profit organization that strives to increase awareness & advocate for medical research to improve the lives of those with this disease.
Yes, I drove ALL THE WAY from Kansas City, Missouri to Chicago, Illinois. After such a long trip, I was honestly tired and was a bit unsure of what to expect. After it was all said and done however, I only had three words: TOTALLY WORTH IT! What I found when I got there was an amazing group of women and MEN marching the streets with banners & signs to spread awareness! We were greeted by honks & friendly waves from people driving by. I even had a chance to talk with folks running errands or watching from their porches who had NEVER heard of Endo. but were curious about the reason we were marching.
Most importantly, I connected with my fellow Endo Warriors. So what is an Endo Warrior? Women who never know when their bodies will betray them, but press on anyway. Women who are diagnosed, but refuse to be defined about it. Women who are in fear, but still find courage in that dark place. These were the women I had the honor to march with as we brought awareness to Chicago. Some who bravely showed up to support could not march because they were in pain or were just recovering from a flare-up. It was the first time that I was surrounded by so many women; young, old, Black, White, Hispanic, Indian, etc. that could completely relate to EVERYTHING I’ve experienced (or worse) dealing with this illness. It was like hearing my own thoughts echoed back to me, saying “me too”. I’ve never experienced anything like it. From perfect strangers to instant Endo Sisters, my fellow Endo Warriors.
I hope all women with Endo can experience this support.
The trip was fantastic and inspiring. It was also reflective and sad. But I felt a connection, an encouragement, unlike few things I have experienced. For those who are suffering, understand you are not alone. You are an Endo Warrior. We are not just one in our suffering, but in our triumph. Below are some links to help you connect to the community. I want to be the first to welcome you. Not to the fight, because you are well versed in that. No, I want to welcome you to a family.
I can’t wait to meet you!
My Endometriosis Team
Endometriosis Foundation of America