Olivia Hicks our Tasmanian Ambassador

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

Being accepted to be an ambassador for Endometriosis Australia is a huge honour. I have a great passion for spreading awareness of the disease since I was diagnosed in October 2015. I’m currently a journalist and TV Reporter for WIN News in Hobart. I decided to be a journalist because I love listening to people’s stories and spreading the word. It’s very unpredictable – I can be sitting in court in the morning and then an hour later be called out to a fire. I never know where or what I’ll be reporting on the day.

Last year, not long after I was diagnosed, I wrote a story on endometriosis. The response to that report was immense and made me realise so many women suffer from this insidious disease. It’s unrelenting, unforgiving and doesn’t discriminate.

I experienced many medical issues in my teens and into my 20’s. I saw GP after GP, for different symptoms, not one of them brought up endometriosis. I was diagnosed with UTI’s constantly, even though no bacteria showed up in urine. I had bowel issues, back and bladder pain, and bloating on a daily basis. I thought I was going crazy.

Then, at the age of 26, I was admitted to hospital with severe pelvic pain. The doctor who saw me mentioned endometriosis – I had never heard of the disease before. The next day I saw my GP and said I wanted to see a specialist. I was referred to a gynaecologist and a couple of months later I underwent a laparoscopy. I was diagnosed with severe stage 4 endometriosis.

This disease has changed my life but I sometimes think it’s a blessing in disguise. Before I was diagnosed, I used to be one of those people who would go 100 miles an hour in life. When I had pain, I’d brush it off as something I’d eaten and wouldn’t give my body the rest it needed. But this disease has made me take a step back and appreciate the little things in life. It’s allowed me time out for myself. I’m sure other women can relate.

Since I knew endometriosis was responsible for the discomfort I’d been suffering from for years, I have actively been spreading awareness of the disease. What surprises me is the vast number of girls and women who have it. When I upload a post about how I’m feeling to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, I’m overwhelmed by the likes, comments and stories other people (including men) post in response. That’s what has made me passionate about spreading awareness. I want to help as many women, men, daughters, sons and friends as possible.

Unfortunately, five months after surgery, my pain returned, but knowing I’m supporting others helps me through my bad days. This disease doesn’t only affect the lives of women – but society as a whole and I hope one day perceptions will change and women won’t have to suffer in silence. I hope in my generation the length of time it takes to be diagnosed won’t be years, but just days. And I hope above all, a cure will be found so women won’t have to be prisoners in their own bodies for decades suffering uncontrollable pain mentally and physically.

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