Please help my organization win the #STARTARYOT challenge grand prize of $75,000!
You may recognize me from Bravo’s Top Chef, but what you probably don’t know about me is that I have endometriosis. This disease dominated much of my life for many years before I was finally able to receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Five years ago, I helped found the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) to help prevent millions of women from years of suffering from this debilitating disease.
Endometriosis is a disease where the endometrial tissue that lines a woman’s uterus is found outside the uterus – often within the pelvic cavity. In addition to being one of the leading causes of infertility in women, endometriosis causes severe pain and when left untreated can lead to other complications. For a long time, women with endometriosis were told their only option was a hysterectomy – this is not the case. Endometriosis is highly treatable through a minimally invasive procedure. When treated properly, women are able to lead normal lives without chronic pain.
Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. If I had been diagnosed at 12, 16, 25, or even 30 that would have been 12 weeks a year that my life would have been completely different. I can’t help but think of all of the conflicts that wouldn’t have existed, the time with family and friends that wouldn’t have been lost due to my severe pain.