Join Suzanne Sullivan for an Endometriosis
Awareness Walk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at New Quarter Park in York County, Saturday, March 27. She''ll be joined by 100-plus fellow sufferers with whom she has formed an online support group, "endosisters," on Facebook, as well as by friends and family. They'll walk, learn about help and treatment for the disease, share stories and lunch.
After enduring years of misdiagnosis (polycistic ovarian syndrome), Sullivan suffered an ectopic pregnancy in fall 2007 and subsequently learned in 2008 -- at the age of 29 -- that she had advanced endometriosis. She has since had a total hysterectomy.
"If there is one woman I could possibly help out there, I would feel like a million bucks just knowing that I may have saved her chances of possibly having children and to keep the disease from progressing to Stage IV like mine," says Sullivan. Many walkers have bought yellow items from cafepress
to help support the study of endometriosis by the Florida-based nonprofit Endometriosis Research Center (www.endocenter.org
(Here is The Mayo Clinic
's definition of the disease, which typically strikes women in their 20s and early 30s: Endometriosis is a disorder of the female reproductive system
. In endometriosis, the endometrium, which normally lines your uterus
, grows in other places as well. Most often, this growth is on your fallopian tubes, ovaries or the tissue lining your pelvis.
When endometrial tissue is located elsewhere in your body, it continues to act as it normally would during a menstrual cycle
: It thickens, breaks down and bleeds each month. Because there's nowhere for the blood from this displaced tissue to exit your body, it becomes trapped, and surrounding tissue can become irritated.
Trapped blood may lead to cysts, scar tissue and adhesions -- abnormal tissue that binds organs together. This process can cause pelvic pain, especially during your period. Endometriosis also can cause fertility problems.)
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