Blossom Ball 2019
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8TH - Cipriani Wall Street
Hello, everyone. So, our next honoree. She's a powerful one. She's powerful because she represents the future. Some of you here know her as a model. Her friends and her family, many of whom are here tonight, know and love her as sister, daughter, spouse, and student. But we, at the Endo Found, we've come to know her as the brave young woman who's being honored here tonight with the first ever Horizon Award.
It's hard to convey the complete vulnerability, and exposure, you step into when you publicly talk about your reproductive and menstrual health, as a woman. You've heard so much about this tonight. But it can really suck. I'm just going to tell you right now. So, now imagine being in an industry where how you look, and the image you project, is all that people take time to see. I mean, your IG life is really your reality.
And then, imagine being part of a family, with a name and a legacy onto which people project their judgment, their expectations, and sometimes, their superficiality. Absorb that for a minute. Process that with all that you have come to understand from the women you've heard from tonight in the public eye, and not. Understand the fierceness that it takes to say, "My beauty, and my strength, are made more powerful by owning this disease and what it has done to my body."
And now, imagine doing this as a young person. Still finding your way in this world, deserving the space to make mistakes, and the privacy to battle your demons. All that I've described is the path that Alaia Baldwin walks every day. And so, tonight we're recognizing her with the first ever Horizon Award. For her courage, for her integrity, for her advocacy for access to better reproductive healthcare, and her voice as a member of the Junior Board of the Endo Found.
Alaia has used her public profile to advocate for young girls and women with endometriosis. Alaia, can you join us onstage?
Hi. And with Alaia taking the the stage now, if I may take a moment. And ask my fellow endo sisters, our endo fellow sisters, to raise a fist in solidarity. And to our supporters to raise a glass, as we recognize this young woman tonight. Ladies and Gentlemen, Alaia Baldwin.
Thank you. That was so sweet. Thank you so much. Thank you to everyone for being here tonight. It's such an honor to be in the presence of all of you. You have heard much of the statistics and facts, and stories. So I'm going to keep it short and sweet. But, firstly, I would like to thank the Endo Found for having me be a part of their team. And for helping me better understand this disease, as a whole. So thank you for your support and your love. And everyone that is on the member of the board, and the Junior Board, that has been a huge support system for myself.
Second, I personally have to thank Dr. Seckin for helping me get the best possible outcome, as a young woman with this disease. And not only for being a leader, and a pioneer as a surgeon, and a doctor. But also being an open ear. And a amazing friend to me. Which is what separates Dr Seckin from anyone else I had ever seen before. So thank you for that.
When she brings up social media, for me, my story is not that lengthy and interesting. But I remember the moment I came to myself as a woman, and young girl, in the modeling industry, thinking, "Wow. I did hashtag endometriosis, and there's nothing there." I thought, you know, I was diagnosed within one year. I am sure it's 2016, there are some accounts out there. And I remember being so let down, and disappointed by the lack of awareness and support, even, on Instagram. And I thought, by now this disease is so prominent. There's so much more known. There's obviously still much more to know. But that there would be more people that I could speak with.
And so, that is what inspired me to post about my endometriosis journey on Instagram. Because I just want to be an open ear, and a person that young girls could send a message to. And say, "Hey, what do you think about this?" And, "How was your surgery? How was your recovery?" So that is the reason I am here tonight. Thank you. After I had my surgery with Dr. Seckin, and after I felt that I had most of my endo under control, I made a promise to myself that I would always use my voice, and my place in life, to try to help other girls. And give them advice to the best that I can.
So, that is what I am trying to do now, with what I have been given. I would like to thank my parents, and my sister, and my family. Especially my husband, who has rubbed my back, three heating pads around the belly. He's been through the thick and thin of it. And I would like to thank the board, and Dr. Seckin, for giving me the best experience through this awful disease. And I am always here to be an open hand, and an open ear, to anyone that might feel like they need some more support.
So, thank you so much. I am truly honored to be here tonight accepting this.