Photo - Tamer Seckin, MD, Cofounder,EndoFound, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, Madeleine K. Rudin, Board of Directors, EndoFound
March 11, 2020
Words of gratitude and hope pour in for Iowa Congresswoman
Washington, D.C. – The testimony of U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) last Thursday on the House floor regarding her battle with endometriosis has resonated with women nationwide.
Finkenauer went public with her story after reading statistics and stories from other women with the disease on the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound) website. She has formed the first-ever Congressional Endometriosis Caucus and has requested $26 million from the National Institute for Child and Human Development to fund research.
“Through this caucus, this bipartisan caucus, we’re going to raise awareness with the public and in Congress to get more funding and the kind of support that this disease deserves,” Finkenauer said. “We need to end the stigma around endometriosis and bring more attention to this condition affecting millions of women and their families and their friends.”
Reactions to Finkenauer’s speech have poured in swiftly from across the country:
“Finally! I’m so excited that this is happening. I along with millions of other women who suffer from endo have been waiting for someone to hear us in Washington. The fact that this caucus has bipartisan support is even better, because endometriosis doesn’t discriminate, and neither should we. This illness costs us $78 billion a year. Thank you Congresswoman Finkenauer and all others who have worked on this.” Padma Lakshmi, Author and TV host/executive producer, and cofounder of EndoFound
"Women with endometriosis needed a powerful voice on Capitol Hill, and today they got it! Thank you to the caucus, and thank you, Congresswoman Finkenauer, for sharing your story and becoming that voice. As a doctor, I see firsthand the toll endo takes on my patients: years of misdiagnosis, infertility, loss of overall quality of life, and hysterectomies. Prioritizing research and awareness, which ensures early detection and timely intervention, is key to treating this disease and giving women back the lives they deserve.” Tamer Seckin, MD, Cofounder of EndoFound
"Endometriosis is a disease that crosses all languages, races, borders, political views and beliefs. Abby Finkenauer is the first woman in her position of power to take a stance and speak for the voices of all women who suffer with this disease around the country. Her bravery in coming forward and her determination in introducing the first bipartisan Congressional House Endometriosis Caucus will pave the way for more women to be heard, seen and treated equally. I’m so excited to see where this chapter leads, thank you Abby for your willingness to help change the course of this disease." Alaia Baldwin Aronow
"One in ten women suffer from endometriosis, and it's about time these women had a strong voice on Capitol Hill. I commend Congresswoman Finkenauer for coming forward with her story and establishing the Congressional Endometriosis Caucus. I am proud to join her in this effort to raise awareness and fight for better research and more funding to finally end this life-altering condition." Congresswoman Kathleen Rice
"I applaud Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer for having the courage to share her intimate battle with endometriosis. I stand behind her as we continue to advocate for the funding, research, education, and treatment needed to eradicate this debilitating disease so many of us suffer from daily. Real change will happen exactly where Abby delivered this message, in front of congress in the courtroom. I echo her sentiment and hope this is just the beginning." Molly Qerim Rose, ESPN TV Host
“I applaud Congresswoman Finkenauer for bravely sharing her journey with endometriosis in order to help the one in 10 women in the United States with the disease. Her story is reflective of many women who suffer from endometriosis, and if we raise our voices collectively we can demand change: better treatment options, research, funding and an eventual cure.” Diana Falzone, Journalist, endometriosis patient and advisory board member for EndoFound.
“Each brave woman who uses their influence to describe their experience helps to decrease stigma and reinforce that endometriosis affects girls and women of every demographic, every geographic region. It is a critical issue across the political spectrum. This new piece of legislation would have an immediate impact on active, experienced programs. This potential increase in dollars would also draw other researchers toward working on endometriosis for the first time.” Dr. Stacey Missmer, Doctor of Science in epidemiology and a member of Society for Women’s, Health Research’s Network on Female Pelvic Health
“Here in New York State, we know that when it comes to endometriosis, knowledge is power. That's why, with the help of, Endometriosis Foundation of America, I sponsored and passed the first-in-the-nation endometriosis education bill to help young people better understand their bodies and menstruation. In a world where one in ten struggles with the symptoms of endometriosis for a decade or more before being diagnosed, it is clear that we must educate health care professionals about the condition while we empower women to demand better care from them. I applaud Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer for forming the first-ever Congressional Endometriosis Caucus, which will help continue to smash the dangerous and pervasive stigma that still surrounds menstruation and endometriosis and relegates too many to years of suffering in silence," said New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal
“As the Director of the Center for Gynepathology Research at MIT and an endometriosis patient for 35 years, I am thrilled to see Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer stand up to create the Congressional House Endometriosis Caucus. The brave and energetic actions of individual women like Congresswoman Finkenauer spur other women to act. I doubled down on my own efforts after Padma Lakshmi led the way 11 years ago with her public story and founding of EndoFound. Padma gave me the courage to go public with my own story, but also the inspiration and camaraderie that I am not in it alone, I can do my part to help raise awareness – and find a cure. Dr. Seckin’s and Padma’s heroic efforts to educate not only the public but to combine scientists, clinicians and patients in a yearly conference to all learn from each other – they have made a real difference in pushing our knowledge frontiers for this devastating disease.” Linda Griffith, S.E.T.I. Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering, Director, Center for Gynepathology Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“I always say, our personal stories propel us forward, and I commend the Congresswoman for sharing her own in an effort to empower the countless women who have been suffering in silence for far too long. After leading the fight to raise awareness for endometriosis here in New York, I am thrilled to see that this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves at the national level.” Sue Serino, New York State Senator, 41st District
“Congresswoman Finkenauer's announcement about plans to introduce the first-ever Congressional House Endometriosis Caucus is indeed an exciting and hopeful moment for so many who suffer from this disease. In addition to funding for treatment, it is critical to have funding to address social norms and stigma around endometriosis so that social isolation and poor mental health related to this illness can be reduced. And last but not least, this caucus can help galvanize efforts to ensure that access to endometriosis care is equitable.” Jhumka Gupta, ScD, Associate Professor, George Mason University, Department of Global and Community Health within the College of Health and Human Services
“There is so much research needed, so much work to be done, to support women with living with endometriosis, from better detection of the disease to finding the right treatments and a cure. Endo research has been under-funded for too long now. As a researcher, I am grateful to Congresswoman Finkenauer for her bipartisan effort to support research in endometriosis. As a fellow patient, I am impressed by her determination to change the status quo and her courage to transcend her individual experience and raise awareness about endo. It is inspiring and so exciting!” Dr. Noémie Elhadad, Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics, affiliated with Computer Science and the Data Science Institute at Columbia University
“Thank you, Congresswoman Finkenauer and the House Endometriosis Caucus, for taking the lead to increase endometriosis awareness, funding, and research. You are offering hope today to millions of women who have endometriosis. We are pleased to be working with you toward finding better diagnosis and treatment options – and hopefully, one day, a cure!” Margaret Cianci, Executive Director, EndoFound
"Thank you, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, for sharing your journey and for creating the first-ever House Endometriosis Caucus. There's so much education needed for both women and their families and the medical community. You have given hope to so many of us who have endo. We will certainly be there to support you and the work of the Caucus!" Madeleine K. Rudin, Board of Directors, EndoFound
“Thank you Rep. Abby Finkenauer for your bravery and sharing your story. Words cannot express how important the Endometriosis Caucus will be for 1 in 10 women suffering worldwide. We need awareness, support, and it’s time for change.” Melissa Boudreau, Chief Marketing Officer for Emagine Entertainment and endometriosis patient
To support the Caucus and see a list of members, please see below: