People across the world are holding a march to raise awareness for a disease which leaves one in ten Islington women suffering from chronic fatigue, crippling agony, depression and potentially infertility.
Endometriosis, a disease which attacks ovaries, and has left experts baffled and led to poor understanding and treatments for the condition.
On Saturday 19 March, London will join more than 60 countries around the world in the global campaign Endo March, which will see participants walking 3 miles through Central London to raise awareness for the condition.
Lisa Morris*, 28, from Islington was diagnosed with endometriosis when she was 23.
“I had always received very little sympathy from the GPs that I went to see. But after begging to be sent to the specialist unit at Barts Hospital, I discovered that I had stage 4 endometriosis; my bowel, bladder and left ovary were fused together”
The disease causes tissues similar to the lining of the womb to grow in places it should not. As time goes on this tissue growth can spread all around the body. This can cause inflammation, pain and the formation of scar tissue, and in some cases fuse organs together.
The only way to get rid of this tissue is through a laparoscopy. An operation during which endometriotic tissue and cysts can be removed either by burning off the tissue with a laser or cutting it out.
Charity Endometriosis UK have organised the London march.
A spokesperson said: “We’re passionate about raising awareness of the disease which so little is known about and public awareness is very low, which is shocking considering that it is the 2nd most common gynaecological condition in the UK.
“There is no cure and treatment ‘options’ consist of surgery, painkillers and hormones. So by arranging the event we’re hoping to raise awareness and bring together hundreds of people who are affected by the disease.”
The Barts endometriosis unit has since closed due to funding cuts, which has angered sufferers who feel they aren’t being taken seriously enough.
Lisa added: “I always remember the conversation with the surgeon after I woke up from my first surgery, his words were ‘we are so sorry that you have had to wait this long to get to us. We are so sorry you have been left in this pain.’
So far, twice as many people as last year are registered to attend the event.
This is the third year of the event, and there will be similar marches all across the UK, including Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast.
*Name has been changed for privacy