March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and Endometriosis New Zealand (ENZ) is calling on Kiwis to take part in an Endo Challenge to raise awareness of the disease and support the estimated 200 million people affected globally.
Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium) is found in places outside of the uterus. Symptoms can include period pain, pelvic pain, infertility, bowel problems, fatigue and bladder troubles.
It is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women and people assigned female at birth, or approximately 120,000 people in New Zealand. Globally, there is a diagnostic delay of 8+ years.
ENZ is Aotearoa’s national endometriosis organisation, and provides information, help, support and advice to people with endometriosis and persistent pelvic pain across the country.
Tanya Cooke, CEO at ENZ, says Endometriosis Awareness Month is an opportunity to spark conversation and raise awareness for the disease, but also a key fundraising milestone for the charity.
“ENZ receives no government funding, and therefore we rely on our generous community to continue our important work, which includes endometriosis education, support, research and advocacy.
“We are so grateful to those who have already signed up to take on an Endo Challenge this month to help us raise funds, but also to our corporate sponsors and High Tea organisers,” she says.
Tauranga local Annie Harte, who was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2014, will be taking part in a skydive this March to raise funds for ENZ.
“For my Endo Challenge I wanted to choose an activity that would push me out of my comfort zone. I’m deathly afraid of heights, so I chose to do the one thing I never thought I’d do – skydive!
“When I first started dealing with unknown health issues, doctors accused me of ‘faking it’ and I felt really alone. So, I’m aiming to raise $2,000 to help ENZ continue providing much-needed education within the healthcare system, to reduce the diagnostic delay and improve outcomes for others suffering from this debilitating disease,” she says.
Other Endo Challengers include Peter Von Hagen from Canterbury who will be cycling the length of New Zealand to raise money for ENZ in support of his daughter, and 15-year-old Mackenzie Winfield who will be jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
To take part in an Endo Challenge or to donate to ENZ this Endometriosis Awareness month, visit https://nzendo.org.nz/endometriosis-awareness-month-march-2022/