Our EndoChampions are Board appointed; they are someone who has achieved something extraordinary within their community to increase awareness and raise funds for Endometriosis.
Laura Furiosi is from Brisbane, Queensland. Laura is the founder and CEO of an award winning international brand Rashoodz Swimwear and mother of three. Laura has been battling endometriosis for the past 15 years, but has not let it hold her back for accomplishing her goals in the business world. Creating her brand from scratch, she has grown it to be sold internationally and Australia wide. Going on 15 surgeries now, she hopes that she can inspire others to learn ways to achieve despite the disease. Even if it meant working from the hospital bed, she has never given up. Laura hopes to help raise awareness and funds for research so that her own daughters don’t have to struggle as she has.
Mackenzie Ravn is a journalist with 7 News on the Gold Coast, in Queensland. Now 24, she’s been battling endometriosis since the age of 15 but only found out what was causing her pain during her first operation in 2012. Mackenzie has since undergone further surgery but now lives with a management plan, involving a restricted diet to keep her flare-ups under control. Broadcast journalism can be a hectic industry, and Mackenzie refuses to let her endometriosis get in the way of doing her job. It’s a task made much easier now she has been able to find a pain management plan that works for her. By being an Endo Champion, she hopes to help end the silence surrounding endometriosis, by speaking up and sharing her story so others can recognise their symptoms earlier.
Mackenzie hopes sharing her experience will help to increase the conversation around the disease so women know their life doesn’t have to stop when they’re diagnosed with endometriosis. She also wants more women to have access to information on how to manage the disease, so they too can try to stop it from getting in the way of the things they want to achieve in life.
Being diagnosed with endometriosis can be life-changing, but it doesn’t have to be life ending. In fact, I strongly believe those of us living with this disease is only made so much stronger by the challenges it throws our way, and that strength can work wonders in all aspects of our lives.
Ellie Kammer is an artist from Adelaide, South Australia. Ellie creates large, bold oil paintings that are shaped by her struggles with Endometriosis as well as submitted biographies from women all over the world who suffer from Endometriosis and sister diseases.
Ellie has trained under highly established and respected artists and is on the brink of some exciting successes that will see her launch a unique and fulfilling career in the arts.
Through her graphic and unapologetic images, Ellie inspires and encourages women to speak about their experiences with Endometriosis in an open and frank manner in an attempt to educate others and bring comfort to those who have felt, for one reason or another, the need to suppress the emotional weight of living with a chronic illness.
Ellie’s collection of Endometriosis related works will be on display in Adelaide, July 2017.
My name's Tash Hammond, I’ve just turned 18. I live in Port Lincoln, South Australia. A country town on the West Coast. I went to boarding school in Adelaide at Saint Peters Girls. I am now studying a double degree in human nutrition and exercise science at Flinders University.
This may seem detailed to some however this is only a small proportion of what I have been through before my diagnosis, during treatment, and my acceptance of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a cruel disease without the appropriate treatment. I urge all who think that may have this disease to seek diagnosis and never ever give up. I have had endoscopies, colonoscopies, ultrasounds, iron transfusions, numerous blood tests, and visits to GP’s, specialists and natural therapists in the quest to find a reason for my pain. At 14 most gynaecologists would not even see me until I was 18, I persevered and found the most incredible gynaecologist. Over the next couple of years, and two operations later and much trial and error with contraceptives I now have a combination that works. Read More
Lauren Finelli is from Adelaide, South Australia. Lauren and her husband Carmine appeared on Australia’s highest rating television series, My Kitchen Rules (MKR) – season seven in 2016.
Carmine and Lauren wanted to change their lives, so as soon as the opportunity came knocking, they left their jobs and delayed their plans to start a family, to enter My Kitchen Rules.
Carmine and Lauren are one of Australia’s most talked about couples, entertaining viewers with their competitive spirit and memorable one-liners.
They would like to remain in the food industry, with the hope to produce a line of pasta and cook books. While they are inspired by their Italian heritage, the couple also hopes to launch a business to promote their passion for healthy eating.
Their ultimate goal would to use the exposure they have gained to embark in a career in media, which combines their love of food and travel.
New South Wales
Therese is an Author, Visionary, Public Speaker, The Health and Wellness Ambassador of Australian Organic, a Wellness Ambassador for Mindd Foundation, animal rights activist, advocate for holistic family health and now a Face of Endo for Endometriosis Australia.
Therese is a keynote speaker and specialises in sharing evidence-based research on the impact of chemicals on the endocrine system and on overall health.
Through The Divine Company and the Divine By Therese Kerr, Therese, her partners and team educate and empower people to make healthy, chemical-free choices. She freely shares her knowledge, runs life-changing empowerment programs and retreats and engages health and wellness practitioners, healthy chefs and integrative medical doctors alike in sharing information on all aspects of health. Therese has recently announced that she and her business partners will be releasing the Divine Baby Certified Organic Baby products in late April 2015.
Naomi is a corporate receptionist and lives in Lake Macquarie, NSW. She is married with one son.
Now 50, she has been dealing with endometriosis for a long time, most likely since her first painful period at age 13.
She has been involved with Endometriosis Australia since not long after its inception, firstly helping out with the Endometriosis Australia Closed Facebook Discussion Group and since then at functions and fundraisers. From administrating support groups on Facebook to MCing the Endo High Tea in Newcastle in 2017, she is passionate about education and awareness for endometriosis.
Over the years she has been involved in many things to help the fight, including the Queensland University study for endometriosis in the 1990’s which was and still now is researching endometriosis and studying the genetic links. In March 2014 she was so frustrated by the lack of media awareness about Endometriosis Awareness Month that she sent a fiery email to multiple news and media outlets, with the end result of an article about her journey with endo being written up in the Newcastle Herald.
I will never stop fighting for better treatment, better care and better awareness about this horrendous disease that robs so many of their health and in many cases their families and their careers. The amount of money that endo costs Australian businesses is huge but it is still brushed off as “womens issues” and this is unacceptable. With Endometriosis Australia I can have a voice and help others to as well.
Endometriosis has affected my life greatly. They say that it takes on average 7 years to diagnose and I believe I’m a good example of this. Throughout my primary school years, I was a very sporty child. I was very energetic, positive and loved the outdoors. My high school years were quite different. I felt like I was constantly fatigued, and I never wanted to go to school. My class mates would say that I was lying about being sick. I struggled to do classwork most days because I felt a massive cloud of fog over my head that I couldn’t overcome. Eventually, this made me so depressed I would refuse to leave my bed some mornings. No one believed me, doctors couldn’t determine a diagnosis and I just wanted sleep.
At 15 years old, I started having breakouts and abdominal pain. My doctor had run scans which all indicated I was healthy and decided to put me on the pill. This did not clear up my breakouts and the pain remained. I saw at least 10 different doctors between the ages of 13-20, all of which ended with the same result. I was apparently perfectly healthy. I stumbled upon one doctor who decided to send me to a gynaecologist. This whole situation still haunts me today and it is scary to think this hasn’t only happened to me, but the majority of women that suffer from endometriosis. The specialist used these exact words ‘it’s all in your head’. How could that be possible if I had been in so much pain for years. Women please do not believe a doctor, specialist, friend or family member if they tell you that the pain is all in your head. You know your body, you know when something is not ok. Just persevere even if it takes seven years to diagnose like me. Read More