This year’s EndoMarch report is from FTWW member Lowri, she writes an insightful blog chronicling her experiences: Enduring Endometriosis.
~ “Hell No En-Do!” ~
So today I took part in my first #EndoMarchWales.
The plan had originally been for all the family to take part but unfortunately my husband had an operation just over a week ago so I anticipated I’d be doing it alone. Then last night my 6 year old son said he wanted to do it with me to raise awareness and I honestly couldn’t have been prouder of his kind, supportive, ‘can do’ outlook on life!
I must admit I was nervous to attend today, I didn’t know anyone and am quite shy when meeting new people. I needn’t have worried, the atmosphere was amazing- men, women, children and dogs all congregated for one common cause. Jenny Rathbone the Cardiff AM joined us, as did the 3 (AND ONLY) endometriosis specialist surgeons in Wales, 2 of which have treated me.
On arrival we were given balloons, flyers and stickers and my son bought an Endo bear from a wonderful woman who had knitted a huge number of them in order to raise money for FTWW, what a star. After a quick speech from the organizers we were off! Chanting, music playing and assisted by the police we made our way through the city centre and towards Cardiff Bay.
It was amazing to see so many people campaigning for the same cause. There were people, young and old and in varying degrees of health. Although I admire everyone who took part I have to salute the ladies who found the walk a real struggle and still ploughed on regardless.
Once we reached Cardiff Bay we went into the Senedd to collect our certificates, more speeches and entertainment. It was at this point I asked my son if he was glad he’d come. He said he had the best time and didn’t want to leave – a real testament to all you wonderful ladies who organised the event!
Finally (and most importantly) on the train home, revved up from a packet of skittles, a cupcake and buzzing from the atmosphere of the day, my son had a BIG case of verbal diarrhoea. A couple in their 60’s behind us began to laugh and commented that he was a chatterbox. We got talking and I explained where we’d been. The female then began to get emotional and explained she’d had endometriosis as a young woman and had been forced to have a hysterectomy leaving her unable to ever have children. (Sadly, a hysterectomy is not the correct treatment ‘for’ endometriosis, read why here.) We both agreed that it was fate that we’d got talking and she asked how she could get involved in the March next year.
If that was just one lady’s story I can only begin to imagine the stories other individuals who were handed one of the hundreds of leaflets given out today. So well done to everyone who took part, I am honoured to have walked with you.
Together we have raised awareness and stuck a middle finger up to the stigma. And to Niki Dally, Karla Edwards and all their team who organised the event… a big THANK YOU for making it all possible – it is really appreciated.
So from my son and I, see you next year ladies!