Media release: Endo Challengers 2023
People across Aotearoa are taking on physical challenges this March in a bid to raise awareness and funds for Endometriosis, a condition that takes a huge physical and mental toll on sufferers. Individuals and groups will skydive, bungy, compete in running events and more to support better education and earlier diagnosis of endo through Endometriosis New Zealand.
One of the stand-out challenges this year is a 24-hour treadmill walk, dreamed up by a group from the Waikato who share experience with endometriosis. 10 people from Morrinsville-based animal nutrition company SealesWinslow will take turns to walk around the clock, aiming to bring awareness to the condition within their community.
Kate van den Berg, Finance Manager at SealesWinslow says her team was inspired to complete this challenge due to their shared personal struggles with the condition.
“One of my team members has recently had endometriosis surgery. I myself didn’t even realise I had it until I had issues with fertility years ago, and another of my team has had a similar experience trying to conceive. The fact there are three of us in the office with endo shows just how common it can be,” she says.
“We want to highlight the issue in our local town and encourage people to reach out for support if they are having symptoms and struggling to get diagnosed. Endometriosis New Zealand are right at the end of the phone for a chat, which is an amazing service.”
1 in 10 women, girls and those assigned female at birth have Endometriosis in Aotearoa – a total of more than 120,000 people. March is international Endometriosis Awareness Month and Endometriosis New Zealand is focused on better educating the community about endo symptoms to support earlier diagnosis.
“We want to make the community aware of the signs and symptoms of endometriosis, and for people encountering these various health challenges to stop and think ‘Could it be Endo?’, then start a conversation with their health professional. The sooner people start to talk about it, the sooner they can get diagnosed and learn how to manage their condition well,” says Tanya Cooke, Chief Executive of Endometriosis New Zealand.
On average, sufferers of Endometriosis in Aotearoa will visit their doctor five times across more than eight years before they are diagnosed and Cooke says that awareness of the symptoms is key to changing this statistic.
The signs and symptoms of Endometriosis may include: period pain that affects daily life; pain during and/or after sex; pelvic, lower back and leg pain; bladder and/or bowel troubles; abnormal menstrual bleeding; sub-infertility or infertility; tiredness and low energy; immune system issues; PMS, low mood and depression.
The SealesWinslow group will walk from 12 noon on Friday 31 March, to 12noon Saturday 1 April at Flex Fitness Morrinsville, where a sausage sizzle will also take place to raise funds for Endometriosis New Zealand. Members of the public are invited to jump on a support treadmill at any time during the challenge. Information about endo will be available at the event. Supporters can back the group’s fundraiser via Raisely: https://team-sealeswinslow-walk-for-24-hours.raisely.com
People can also register to become an Awareness Month Challenger and raise funds for endo here: https://march-awareness-challengers.raisely.com
For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
Tanya Cooke (she/her), Chief Executive, Endometriosis New Zealand
Mobile: 027 255 1306
Team SealesWinslow are happy to share their personal endo stories with media, and photos are available on request.