Congress, we need more funding for endometriosis research! Women's voices matter. Women's bodies matter. Women's health matters. Women's lives matter! Now, send a clear message to the 1 in 10 women in the United States living with endometriosis that they matter.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are heading into the White House because this country voted for change. In this election, women came out and cast more votes than ever before. The Women's March—the largest single-day protest in U.S. history—showed the world that we are no longer going to be complicit sitting back and hoping for change.
In March, Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer announced that she has endometriosis and then introduced the first-ever bipartisan House Endometriosis Caucus. The Caucus successfully stewarded legislation through the House to double endometriosis research funding to $26 million. That is double the $12 million provided for endometriosis research last year. The Senate didn’t act though and now, we need to see more resources for endometriosis research included in the final budget that will come before Congress later this month.
Let's face it, being sick sucks. I know because I have endometriosis. Sure, I could be more eloquent about it, but that would mask the cruel reality of having this illness. At 33 years old I was diagnosed with Endo and infertility. Since I was 11 years old I had nightmare periods. But I thought pain with my period was normal. The normal plight for all women. I suffered in silence like many women. I have had four excision surgeries to remove endometriosis lesions. I lost an ovary, a Fallopian tube, my appendix and almost lost my kidney all due to this unrelenting disease since 2016.
Endometriosis is one of the leading causes of female infertility, a known precursor to ovarian cancer, and the primary reason women ages 25-34 have hysterectomies. It inflicts pain whenever and however much it wants to. It is an insidious disease that takes an average of 7 to 10 years to diagnose. It is often misdiagnosed as IBS, appendicitis, or various other disorders. It takes from women their kidneys, ovaries, uterus, and so much more. It costs nearly $78 billion a year in healthcare costs and lost wages, and guess what? There are no simple screenings or treatments. There is no cure.
We thank the endometriosis advocates, Congresswoman Finkenauer, Congresswoman Gonzalez-Colon, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Mitt Romney and other members of the Caucus for their support. They understand the critical need for endometriosis research. Now it’s time for everyone to get it.
We aren't going to back down. We will no longer be intimidated or ashamed to talk about our menstrual health. We will continue to unite and demand action from Congress, PERIOD!
Who I am now is because of endometriosis. I am stronger than ever. I have plenty of fight left in me. I will fight for women with endometriosis to be heard, to be understood, to be given better treatment options, and for a cure. Now, I ask you, congress, will you fight for us?
Raise your voice with mine. Contact your members of Congress to ask that they join the Endometriosis Caucus and support funding for endometriosis research, and sign the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s petition at EndoFound.org. Together, we will be heard!
Please CALL Senators Warren and Romney and let them know cutting funding is not acceptable and urge them to support the DOD and HHS funding.
Senator Warren's DC Office: (202) 224-4543
Senator Romney's DC Office: (202) 228-0836
Please sign and share our petition to Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Chairman Shelby, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairwoman Lowey, and Ranking Member Granger.