This past month has been a complete dream. I know a lot of people dont like small towns or everyone knowing everyone's business but I can honestly say I am thankful right now for everyone that has supported me this month. When I started this whole idea this fall I had absolutely no idea this would be the way it would go.
I have always talked about my endo. Ive always shared my story and ive always tried to educate others on what this disease is and how it affects each women and everyone they love. For some reason this year(read My Why post for that) I got this bright idea to start going bigger and asking the towns on the Eastern Shore to help me spread awareness, education and support. I am so grateful and humbled by the support our Endo Community has received from so many people across this amazing place I get to call home.
In total we received 10 proclamations; Caroline County, Talbot County, Kent County, Queen Annes County, Denton, Greensboro, Preston, Chestertown, Salisbury and Ocean City. We had towns and businesses light up yellow to show their support; Denton, Ridgley, Greensboro, Bromo Seltzer Tower in Baltimore, Choptank Community Health and even the State House by the Governor.
I've met so many new people this month who have been affected by endo. Spouses, friends, parents and siblings that have all been affected by this disease in some way. I've met women who never shared their story for numerous reasons and because of the support shown they now feel comfortable to share their story. This is what's important to me. We cant spread awareness if we do not talk about it and how it affects everyone in its path.
Sure there have been many uncomfortable moments. Standing in front of a room of men talking about something so personal that is a "woman's" problem is a little weird but if that's what I need to do then that's what ill do. I know a lot of women don't feel comfortable doing this and that's why I will do it for them. Talking about Endo needs to become so normal its like talking about what's for dinner. Also, having to tell my personal story including the bad especially the sweet angel we lost has not been easy. I have made myself just read what the paper says so that I do not think about what I am saying but it has not been easy because it reminds me what endo has taken from me.
I have to say even though most of these meetings have been in front of men, they have been amazingly supportive. Most of them have not heard about endo and unfortunately some have been affected by it. They have asked questions, they have given me their word they will do whatever they can to help spread awareness about a disease that affects so many.
My most gratitude though goes to my family and friends. They have been my backbone through this entire journey that I cannot imagine not taking. They have attended meetings with me, read my drafts of letters and articles and listened to me be scared about having to talk about something so personal. They have helped me see how important this journey is and have encouraged and supported me to keep going.
To all of you, thank you so much. Thank you for your messages, your calls, comments, likes and support you've all shown to not just me but anyone who is affected by endo. This is just the beginning and I cant wait to share what's next for Endo Warriors of the Eastern Shore.