EFA2011: Susan Sarandon speaks up about endometriosis

New York, 19 march 2011

Susan Sarandon spoke up about endometriosis at last night’s Blossom Ball stressing that it is not a woman’s lot in life to suffer pain.  She encouraged everyone to go forth and spread the word that it is not OK to miss a part of your life because of pain due to endometriosis!

Picture of Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon speaking at EFA's Blossom Ball

Susan Sarandon is a well-known actress, a mother, an activist – and a woman with endometriosis.

At the invitation of Padma Lakshmi and Tamer Seckin, co-founders of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA), Ms Sarandon attended EFA’s 3rd Blossom and spoke frankly about her own journey with endometriosis, which started off as a “half-assed diagnosis”  which included half-hearted treatments thrown at her without full explanations about the disease.

Her key message was not to take no for an answer!

This, in fact, is the exact same message, which was conveyed by fellow sufferer, the vice president of the European Parliament, Diana Wallis MEP, only two weeks earlier. And these women are right:  if you have pain that is preventing you from going about your daily activities, you need to seek help!

Ms Sarandon went on to stress that endometriosis should not turn into something that is going to rob you of such a huge piece of your life; it should not have to affect your quality of life in the way it does for so many women.

“When all you know is pain you don’t know that that is not normal.  It is not a woman’s lot to suffer, even if we’ve been raised that way.

It is not OK to miss a part of your life because of pain and excessive bleeding.

It is not OK to be bed-ridden for two-to-three days a month

It is not OK to pain during sex

It is not OK to have major bloating or nausea”.

Ms Sarandon drew applause when she emphasised that even if women have been conditioned to accept this as normal (“as their lot in life”) – IT IS NOT OK!

“Suffering should not define you as a woman!”, said Ms Sarandon, “and just because you’re a man it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect you!  HELP HER to remove the taboos and the loneliness surrounding this disease; be understanding, show empathy, and don’t accuse her of being sensitive, delicate, or overly dramatic – this is a big opportunity for you guys to show that you care and to be a real man!”.

What to do next?

Padma Lakshmi with Susan Sarandon at EFA's Blossom Ball

In moving forward it is necessary to TALK about endometriosis and remove the taboos surrounding the disease “woman-to-woman” and “mother-to-daughter” to ensure that when a woman is suffering it is recognised that this may be something bigger than the old myth that “this is just something a woman is destined to have”

Susan Sarandon had a happy ending.  She is the mother of three children, and is confident that there can be many happy endings for other women with the disease – because really there is no mystery to it if you listen to your body telling you that something is wrong.

But these happy endings will only happen if we get young women diagnosed and treated earlier and if physicians are educated to recognise the symptoms of the disease and are willing to refer to those who are specialised in treating and managing endometriosis.

Susan Sarandon is right: we need to spread the word!  Please share this web-page with everyone you know!

Susan Sarandon’s presentation

See also:

» Awareness film by the World Endometriosis Society (WES) – please share it!
» Film statement by the vice president of the European Parliament, Diana Wallis MEP
» Film statement by the president of the World Endometriosis Society, Hans Evers MD
» Endometriosis Foundation of America

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