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Facing Eviction Weeks After Surgery, Endometriosis Patient Forges Ahead with Gratitude and Positivity - Trenasia Brownfield's Endo Story

Facing Eviction Weeks After Surgery, Endometriosis Patient Forges Ahead with Gratitude and Positivity - Trenasia Brownfield's Endo Story

Trenasia Brownfield, her husband, and two children are about to be evicted from their home in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, southwest of Scranton. This comes just weeks after Brownfield had endometriosis surgery. Her family’s financial struggles are due primarily to the disease that has wreaked havoc on her body for the last decade—but she hasn’t lost hope.

“The hope comes from always being innovative and finding a way through things,” Brownfield said. “I feel like I’m going through all of this for a reason.”

Brownfield had heavy and painful periods beginning at 14, something her family didn’t discuss with her and that she assumed was normal. When she became pregnant at 19, she suffered from severe abdominal pain. A scan showed it was the result of hydronephrosis (swelling of the kidney) and ovarian cysts.

“My OBGYN didn’t think anything of it,” Brownfield said. “She said it would all fix itself, and the pain would go away.”

After giving birth, the pain continued as the cysts grew and eventually ruptured. Brownfield also started experiencing chronic and debilitating migraines.

“When I first had my daughter, I was going to electrical school and had to walk her in the stroller to another city where my mother-in-law lived so she could watch her, and then I would catch the bus to school,” Brownfield said. “But as we were walking one day, out of nowhere, a migraine and vertigo hit me hard. The doctor blamed it on tension.”

The migraines would continue every day for the next five years. Brownfield was forced to quit school and work.

“And my periods gradually got worse to where I was vomiting,” she said. “I also developed agoraphobia. I was afraid that if I left the house when my husband wasn’t home, I was putting myself and my child at risk.”

Brownfield saw numerous doctors, but none of them put the pieces together.

“They thought the periods were one thing and said, ‘A lot of women have heavy periods.’ They thought the migraines were another thing and said, ‘You just need to reduce your stress.’ They had no idea there could be any correlation between them.”

After having her second child at age 24 and with the symptoms persisting, Brownfield began researching women’s health.

“I knew everything had to be connected, and the more I read, the more I learned about pelvic inflammatory disease and how cysts could kill your ovaries. That’s when I learned about endometriosis,” she said.  

She tried for the next few years to convince doctors that she had the disease. Not until December 2022, when the pain was so unbearable that it hurt to walk or even lie down, did they listen. A scan revealed a cyst that was causing kidney blockage. Brownfield also had an ovarian torsion. Doctors placed two stents in her ureter last year and did endometriosis surgery four weeks ago that included removing an ovary and fallopian tube.

“The doctor asked if she had my permission to remove them if necessary, and I told her yes, whatever it took to make the pain go away,” Brownfield said.

Over the last decade, Brownfield has worked, but it’s been a struggle. She did some modeling and had her own herbal skincare business that was flourishing, but she eventually couldn’t meet shipping demands because of the pain and had to shut it down. Her husband, Jaquis, is a certified chef, but holding a job while being his wife’s primary caretaker has been difficult.

Making the best of their situation, they’ve both used their time to become certified travel agents. They are starting a business that will combine their travel expertise with Jaquis’ cooking—he will accompany clients to their destinations and be their personal chef for the length of their trip. He also bakes from home and ships to clients nationwide, recently offering to donate 10 percent of all proceeds from a muffin sale to EndoFound. That’s how EndoFound found Brownfield, and EndoFound is where Brownfield has learned a lot about endometriosis.

“My entire 20s have been dominated by this disease that I didn’t know anything about for the longest time,” Brownfield said. “It’s been a really long road.”

Yet she continues to speak with a buoyancy rarely found in those facing the challenges she and her family are facing. With eviction looming, they plan to temporarily move into a shelter in their county while Brownfield continues to recover from the surgery. And they will continue to find a way, as Brownfield has done for the last decade.

“Gratitude doesn’t cost money, and as long as I’m breathing, I’ll be loving, kind, patient, and grateful,” she said. “No matter my circumstances, I’m going to have that heart and spirit and keep that positivity in my mind to move forward.”

For information on their muffin fundraiser for EndoFound, visit www.facebook.com/6858327934179229/posts/7592380170773998. They also have a GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/f/help-trenasia-fight-kidney-endometriosis.

*Patient stories submitted to EndoFound.org are the patient's views, not necessarily those of the foundation. All testimonials are from real patients, may not reflect the typical patient’s experience, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.