Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi

Endofound.org Blossom Ball 2016

8th Annual Blossom Ball 

Padma Lakshmi 

Good evening everyone. I want to welcome everyone to the 8th Annual Blossom Ball. I am very excited about tonight because for the first time we are not only honoring a gifted surgeon or scientist or someone from the medical and research community, we are also honoring two extraordinary women. Women who have shaped their world and let their voices be heard and affected the lives and souls of millions of people through their art, through their philanthropy and through their advocacy. I am very honored tonight to honor these women and we will get more into them in a minute. 

I also want to tell you, because a lot of you have been with us for many, many years; from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you very, very much. It is very hard to pick up that phone and ask “will you buy a table”, “will you take this seat”, “can we have an auction item”, I know, I know. But as hard as it is for me or Tamer or whoever is on our team to do that I know that it is harder to say yes because there are so many things to say yes to. So I sincerely appreciate your presence and your support, your continued dedication and just help in every way that we have seen it from people all over this room. So, thank you. 

Tonight, I want to tell you that since last year our numbers have changed. We have now, to date, educated 14 thousand boys and girls in the New York area alone about endometriosis. We are very lucky to do that with the help of the New York State Senate, as well as Bloomberg and we continue to raise our numbers. We test them before, we present to them and we test them after. So, before they go through our program they know about 30 percent and after they know over 90 percent. And we have had great – our best advocacy has been from those administrators and teachers and principals who through word of mouth tell other schools about what we are doing. My co-founder Tamer will talk to you a little bit more about our research and some other things that we have but right now I want you to know that we are all very, very thankful for you being here. I want thank Stamp and I want to thank also Theresa Davidson, Tucker Gurley and a whole bunch of other people. I want to thank most of all my co-founder, Dr. Tamer Seckin. A lot of you have been here before so you have heard me talk a lot about well, my vagina, but I will not do that tonight, but I would like to say also that it was Tamer who convinced me to open my mouth about something that was very personal and very private. And it was Tamer who encouraged me to be very open about what happened and talk about it. I continue to do that every day in new ways to new people. Last month I went to Capitol Hill and was very fortunate to talk to a lot of law makers about the disease there. I want to thank Tamer for being a great mentor, cheerleader and teacher to me with this cause. 

With that I would like to welcome Dr. Tamer Seckin.