Spotlighting endometriosis at GMHBA
Tomorrow’s AFLW clash between Geelong and North Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium will be more than a game of football, with the Cats rallying around a local endometriosis support group for Endometriosis Awareness Month.
Founded by Geelong woman Katherine Stanley late last year, Talking Endo was created in partnership with Endo Help Foundation and obstetrician Dr Marilla Druitt.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which cells similar to those that line the uterus grow in locations outside the uterus, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes and peritoneum.
It’s known to cause acute pain and discomfort, with many women having to withdraw from school, work and sporting activities as a consequence.
Ms Stanley has suffered the effects of endometriosis for more than 20 years.
She said she was grateful to the Cats for getting behind the awareness campaign, particularly because endometriosis was a masked condition that was often overlooked and misunderstood.
“I have made a commitment to myself that the next generation will never feel as isolated and lonely as I did.
“We will no longer be silenced, and endo will be put on the map. It will get the funding that it needs, and women across Victoria and Australia will be fully supported to live their best lives with endometriosis.
“At the moment it takes seven to 10 years to get an endo diagnosis – I think awareness could really help to reduce it.”
Ms Stanley said the Cats’ support was a moving gesture for sufferers of endometriosis in the community, including the 200 Talking Endo members.
“When we have spoken with people suffering from endo about the match, they have been moved to tears, and can’t believe that it is happening.
“Like many women’s diseases, endometriosis has been primarily silenced and having a public space like this with an amazing team like the Cats show support is a show of camaraderie.
“This is the kind of support that women with endo have never received before.”
Admission to tomorrow night’s game (which is expected to draw in a crowd of 15,000) at GMHBA Stadium is free. The game starts at 7.10pm.
For more information on Talking Endo, head to facebook.com/TalkingEndo.