Global Patient Symposium
Together for Tomorrow
March 18-19, 2023 - Einhorn Auditorium, Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC
All right, so we have a final speaker and, uh, it's a patient story. A patient who suffered for years and years from a mystery illness and was told, oh, it's okay, misdiagnosed. Uh, I'll let her be the captain of RH ship on this one. She's a professional golfer, Sam Stockton, and like many of us, this mystery illness turned out to be what we all know too well, endometriosis, and she joins us to tell you her riveting story. Welcome, Sam.
Good evening. My name is Sam Stockton. I'm from Los Angeles, California. And before I begin and close today's fantastic discussions, I want to say I am beyond honored to share this podium with the most prolific scientists, health experts, and doctors in this room today. I also quickly want to mention, um, and thank my mother who I also brought today. Um, I wanna thank her for being my advocate when I was too sick and tired to do it myself as I went through endometriosis. And I also wanna shout out the men in this room. I've been watching you guys listen and hang with us, and I just wanna say, it is so wonderful and comforting to see you guys, um, stick it out. So, to the general public, I am known as a professional golfer, but today I'm not here to talk to you about golf.
Later. I can do that Today I'm here to talk to you about my endometriosis experience and personal journey. In early 2019, I boarded a plane from Los Angeles to San Francisco by myself. When I landed, I fell in a, on a sudden onset of excruciating pain in my lower back and moved to my shoulder, into my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack at the age of 25 <laugh>. Um, I thought, no way this could be happening. But they called medical attention to me immediately. And after a couple hours later in chest x-rays, the doctor came in and said, I'm so sorry, your lung collapsed, your left lung. Um, we don't know why this happens, a medical, if you will, but they said, we can tell you that this is common in tall, skinny males. They usually smoke. Um, I was one out of the three.
I am tall, but I'm not a guy and I don't smoke. So it just, it didn't really make sense to me over the course of this time. Um, six months later, my lung collapsed another two times, and my endometriosis, what I didn't know I had at the time, I thought just bad period symptoms also got they worsened. And that's when my mom, bless, bless her heart, she started asking questions. She started to ask, I wonder if my daughter's period cramps and pain could be correlated with the lung collapse. And that's when we were brought to a doctor at Stanford who specialized in, um, endometriosis and thoracic surgery. And, um, although a terrible experience, my lung was a blessing in disguise because it led me to the realization that I did have endo at first. Like Diane said, I was, um, misdiagnosed with P C O S and they wanted to use an I U D.
Um, I said no. And luckily I did because that would've just made things worse. Um, so I'm here today. Fast forward. I had an amazing excision surgery. I had lung surgery, but two years later after that, I wanna be very candid. I'm going through it still. This is, there's no cure for this. I know all of us, we deal with it. And, um, I struggle with it when the subject of dating came up, and I've broken up with boyfriends in the past because I haven't had the energy to include someone in my life as I go through this trauma. But now I'm, I have to say my 30th birthday was yesterday. Um, dirty thirties. <laugh> have come upon me, but I wouldn't wanna be spending it anywhere else than with this room because you guys know what I've gone through. And, um, I'm honestly not sure how to navigate getting back into dating, you know, to tell a guy on a first date that, Hey, I have all of these things.
How are you going to, he gonna react to it. But what the young lady, woman said that I've found it, I'm trying to get myself out of the victim mentality and almost use that as like a Turkey test, I call it. So if you are out there dating too, and you tell a guy, Hey, I have this, this, and this, and they don't wanna be involved, and that's great. That's, you don't, he's not your person or she's not your person, you know? So I'm trying to constantly, um, train myself to think of this as a positive. I've, we're in this room with so many experts, and I feel like we have almost a responsibility to share wherever we go. So many women don't know about this issue. So if I can take my personal experience and share it, any chance I can get to save a woman from who wants to have children, if they just know, um, about this issue sooner through the empowerment program, which we are just beginning, and I would love to be involved.
I think that's incredible to have more women who are in high school age here and not after the fact. You know, there's women here who got diagnosed in their forties and fifties. So, um, I think most of us have trained ourselves to get comfortable being uncomfortable, but I think we almost, I wanna end it tonight by saying we need to get uncomfortable to be comfortable. We need to bring up these conversations and educate as many people as we can. And if you have a platform, use it, um, to advocate for women's health because we rock. And, um, yeah, we need to stick together. So get uncomfortable to get comfortable.
Thanks so much, Sam, for sharing that personal story. Um, I just wanna bring today to a close. I'll make closing remarks Brief. Uh, today was fantastic. We're gonna start again tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM with coffee. Um, and we're gonna kick off with a personal story from Lexi Stevenson at 9:00 AM So it's gonna be a, a great day, very similar to today, but all different, new information. Um, please stick around. We have a networking social together for tomorrow. Um, we're gonna be in this room for two hours with live music by the far east. I ask that if you guys would help us transition this room to a party room, grab your chair, move it against the wall, and then we're gonna bring in some tables and some mocktails and some cocktails and some wine and some beer. It's gonna be a great time. Thank you all.