CYWH Endometriosis Conference 2013

Endometriosis Ribbon GirlsHello again! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Brittany. As some of you may know, the 7th Annual Endometriosis Conference for Teens and their Families was held at Boston Children’s Hospital on Saturday, April 6th, 2013. I got to co-facilitate a teen support group at this year’s conference with Phaedra Thomas RN, BSN, the nurse educator for the Center for Young Women’s Health. Our group was titled: Managing Your Endo (for 14-17 year old girls).The support group was an eye opener for me. It was truly an honor to meet each and every one of the girls. Everyone had their own personal story to tell, from how and when they were diagnosed, to the countless numbers of doctors they had seen (to find an explanation for their pain), to dealing with school and relationships. It was amazing to see how similar everyone’s stories were. After spending a day together, the girls realized that even though they all have endometriosis, it’s not the only thing they have in common.

Endometriosis doesn’t define who we are; it’s just another factor that makes us who we are. The most amazing part of the day was when I realized that even after all the shared stories of miserable pain, teachers that didn’t understand, and countless doctor visits, everyone was still smiling and laughing, and simply happy that they weren’t alone. They had finally met others their own age they could relate to who understood their challenges.

Endo doesn’t rule your life. You rule it. Getting to know these girls was truly incredible, and we’re all still keeping in touch! For those of you who didn’t attend the conference, I encourage you to plan on going next year! You’ll have the opportunity to understand your disease better and meet others who are dealing with the exact same things! I promise that you’ll make friends that will last a life time!

In the meantime, consider attending the next online endo chat on Tuesday, May 18th from 4-5pm ET (it’s free), or watch the recording of the keynote lectures from this past conference.