Co-Chairs Subrata De & Sandra Gelbard, MD

Co-Chairs Subrata De & Sandra Gelbard, MD

Endofound Co-chairs Subrata De, Sandra Gelbard, MD blossom Ball 2018

- Hello, everyone. Wow, weren't those videos just so moving? Last night as we all watched the run of show, there was not a dry eye in the room. The last time I saw something so powerful was at the Women's March when I listened to Halsey's poem. I think it sent waves through the universe. Endometriosis is, without a doubt, the most under recognized women's health crisis of our time. As an internist in private practice for the past twelve years, it's amazing that I only first heard about Endometriosis just a few years ago. They never taught me about it in medical school, they never mentioned it in all my years of training, and, yet today, it's become an integral part of my practice as I help more and more women manage this disease. My patients, many of whom are sitting in this audience tonight, were my teachers. A fantastic surgeon, co-founder of Endofound, and a passionate doctor who has dedicated his career to helping women with Endometriosis, a man I'm proud to call a friend, Dr. Tamer Seckin. Together, we are forging a new way of working together to treat Endometriosis patients, a partnership between the internist and the surgeon. Lena Dunham, a patient of both Dr. Sechkin's and mine, and the recipient of the 2016 Blossom Award, we applaud her openness in sharing her Endo journey with the world. Endofound champions this kind of honest dialogue for change. Women should be able to discuss their periods and their fertility without any embarrassment whatsoever. Lena and others, like Endofound co-founder Padma Lakshmi, and tonight's 2018 Blossom Award honoree Halsey, helped to sound the clarion call for insurance reform, more research funding, and for Endometriosis to be taught in both medical school and junior and high schools throughout the country. And let's not forget the researchers, school teachers, doctors, and nurses, many also sitting in this room tonight, who are in the trenches everyday, educating the public and treating patients. This cannot be done without you. Tonight, let's join Halsey and millions of other women around the world who are forging a sisterhood that will take down this disease. There are more than 200 million women who are fighting this disease right now. They are suffering. We need to tell them they're not alone. Tonight we honor all the courageous women and men who are breaking the glass ceiling in women's health and reminding the world that women's reproductive health is not a privilege, but a right. Subrata De

- And now we move from doctor to patient. Thank you, Sandy, it's been a true pleasure working with you on this. It's because of doctors like Sandra Gelbard, Dr. Carly Goldstein, and the formidable Dr. Tamer Seckin that I can stand here tonight, that I feel healthy again with a renewed hope that my body is my own again. And it's because of brave role models like Halsey that those of us in the Endo community have begun emerging from the shadows. You see, we have our very own me, too movement. For so long, we didn't know we were a tribe, that we were a community, that we had true support on our side. We didn't know there were so many family and friends out there, and I am so grateful to my family and friends who were struggling to help their loved ones battle through a disease that so few doctors could solve for. But you know what? Now we know, and we know that we are stronger together. So Ashley, Halsey, let me speak directly to you, 'cause I can so confidently say that on behalf of all women with Endometriosis telling you we are so honored, we are so, I can't say a bad word, my daughter is here, we are so honored to be recognizing you tonight with the Blossom Award. For those of you in the room who may not know, this 23 year old artist sitting here with her mother and her squad, right here, she's not only has a number one song on radio, she's not only a two-time Grammy nominee, and she's not only a deeply talented singer songwriter who has enjoyed a meteoric rise, Halsey is also an Endo warrior. She has, in her own words, braved multiple terrifying surgeries to treat her Endometriosis. Let me remind you she's only 23. She's been doubled over in agony backstage, she's fainted from extreme pain, she's suffered, and throughout her struggle she's been searingly open about her journey, and she's shown all of us that you can live your life fully and beautifully, successfully and loudly, as a woman with Endometriosis. Her words, shared with her millions of followers and fans, have created a safe space where others can talk about their own pain without stigma and shame. And so, Halsey, Ashley Frangipane, the Endometriosis Foundation of America, come on up here! Get up here! Is so honored to be giving you the Blossom Award tonight for your courage, for your honesty, and for your absolute commitment for empowering young girls and women to live full and healthy lives and to be badasses just like you.

- Thank you!