The ERC Congratulates Bella on “This is Me”

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Bella B. was a competitive athlete for 9 years, until she was forced to retire due to unexplained, relentless back pain.  Her journey through more than three years of doctor’s appointments, endless tests, and a few misdiagnoses finally resulted in a diagnosis of Endometriosis at 16 years old. It was a difficult decision not to return to sports, but she did not want to allow this disease to define who she is.  She began modeling and pageantry, which led to combing her passion for the stage and her passion to raise awareness about Endometriosis, culminating in “This Is Me Fashion Benefit”, in support of the Endometriosis Research Center.  We are so grateful to and proud of Bella!

“This Is Me Fashion Benefit” had a fantastic turnout of over 250 guests, 6 vendor booths, 10 silent auction items, 6 designers, and 30 models, which was held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM.  Bella worked with countless community members to create an exciting show to break the stigma of talking about Endometriosis.  She is very active on social media and has had a number of people reach out to chat about Endometriosis.  She will graduate from high school this year and has applied to medical school, as she hopes to become a gynecologist, specializing in the excision of endometriosis. Congratulations, Bella!

ERC Thanks Amanda, End Endo Charity Team & Har-Bro

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The ERC sends a HUGE THANK YOU to Amanda, Har-Bro, Inc. and their charity team, End Endo, for their generous contribution and all their awareness, education and fundraising efforts! Please take a moment to read their story…

Har-Bro, Inc. & the End Endo Charity Team

In early 2017, Har-Bro announced their Har-Bro Cares 2017 Team Challenge, which encouraged employees to form teams, chose a charity of their choice, write a proposal, and then work towards set goals for their chosen charity. Every team working to help out a charity received a donation to give to their chosen charity.

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The End Endo Charity Team was led by Amanda S. who lost her mom in April 2016. Amanda wrote:

“My mom was only 47 years old. Growing up as an only child to a single mother, we were always very close. Losing her has by far been the worst experience of my life, and I always wonder what else could have been done to prevent it.

My mom first noticed signs of Endometriosis in her teen years, but was not properly diagnosed until her late 30’s, due to the lack of knowledge and research of this disease. At that point, she already had stage IV Endometriosis. My mom suffered from chronic pain daily. Some days were better than others, some she could not even make it out of bed. The only treatment was to use a heating pad and take pain medication, and most of the time that didn’t even take away the pain. My mom also had multiple miscarriages due to complications of Endometriosis. After a few years of being on pain medications, with no relief, she found a doctor who suggested surgery to clean up the Endometriosis. She felt great for about a year, until it grew back. She ended up having 7 surgeries, including a complete hysterectomy. Each surgery caused more adhesions. None of these surgeries cured her from Endometriosis, as it always made its way back.

I saw first hand how this disease drastically diminished my mom’s quality of life, and it was devastating. This disease not only affected my mom, but myself and our family and friends as well. Losing her has forever changed our lives. Although I find peace knowing she is no longer suffering, every day I wish she could have been cured of Endometriosis. The fact that some doctors my mom saw didn’t have much knowledge on Endometriosis proves that there is not enough awareness of this life changing disease. Knowing that so many women suffer from this disease is heartbreaking and it’s time more people are aware and more research is done to find a cure!”

The End Endo Charity team shared with us how they organized and/or participated in the following as part of their awareness, education and fundraising efforts:

“First, the End Endo Charity team held a Super Bowl pool and a raffle. Then, in March 2017, our charity team participated in the Los Angeles EndoMarch. For our effort in participating and raising awareness, Har-Bro made an additional donation.

In addition, we hosted a charity breakfast at work. Once a quarter, Har-Bro hosts a company breakfast for all employees. Instead of them hosting, we offered to prepare the breakfast using the funds they would normally buy breakfast with. We were able to save money by buying everything and cooking it all ourselves, which rewarded us additional funds to donate to the ERC.

It has been such a pleasure raising money and awareness for something that means so much to us. We hope one day, women of all ages with Endometriosis are cured and no longer living in pain!”

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