The Worldwide EndoMarch, previously called the Million Women March for Endometriosis, is an international campaign aimed at raising awareness of Endometriosis, a disease that affects 1 in 10 women, approximately 176 million women and girls worldwide. Held on the same day worldwide, it promotes sufferers and loved ones coming together to fight a disease with no cure or explanation to how it occurs. Each campaign is run by volunteers who suffer, or who know others who suffer, from Endometriosis. These volunteers are passionate about raising the profile for Endometriosis and empowering women out there with the knowledge they have gained themselves from the events.
Endometriosis is a common disease in which the tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it in other parts of the body. 10% of women suffer with endometriosis at some point in their life with the disease often starting in teenagers. Symptoms are variable and this may contribute to the 7 to 10 year delay in diagnosis. Common symptoms include pelvic pain that puts life on hold around or during a woman’s period. It can damage fertility. Whilst endometriosis most often affects the reproductive organs it is frequently found in the bowel and bladder and has been found in muscle, joints, the lungs and the brain. In a Australian government report, endometriosis is reported to cost Australian society $7.7 billion annually with two thirds of these costs attributed to loss in productivity with the remainder, approximately $2.5 billion being direct healthcare costs. This delay in diagnosis is something that the Worldwide EndoMarch is aiming to decrease through raising awareness and breaking the silence.
Funds raised from the 2016 EndoMarch events in Australia will be put towards finalising our educational program to be implemented into schools. This will aim to educate young women to be comfortable with talking about their bodies, providing them with knowledge on what symptoms a “normal period” should include and help reduce the time it takes for a diagnosis. As some of our volunteers can attest, high school is hard enough as it is, let alone having to deal with a horrific period. Our aim is to empower them with enough knowledge and confidence to go home to their parents and say, ‘Hey Mum, this isn’t normal. I want to get it checked out’.
Similarly, another goal for Endo March in Australia is to educate the 9 out of 10 people who do not suffer from Endometriosis. Yes, it is definitely worthwhile to target those who suffer from the disease, but it is likewise important to educate and invest in those who do not suffer. This provides a wider reach of knowledge of the disease, more people who can provide support and help to those who are diagnosed and to those who are still unsure of what is happening to their bodies.
For the 2016 campaign in Australia, events will be running in the following cities; Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Hobart. For information about ticket sales and registering your interest visit www.endomarchaustralia.com.au. To keep up-to-date with the EndoMarch events, make sure to follow us on social media.
Join us on Saturday the 19th March 2016 and help empower women to be brave and fight this disease that has taken hold of our bodies, our families and our lives.
Join us as we help defeat the stigma and fight for the women who are yet diagnosed.
Join us to create hope for the future.