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Alison & Natalie's story
Alison ran the London Marathon for Endometriosis UK to show support for her sister Natalie, who has endometriosis, and for all endometriosis sufferers.
"What kept me going the most was thinking of Natalie, her pain (both physical and emotional) – caused by endometriosis – is far greater than any pain that the marathon course could throw at me."
All through college and early work years I remember struggling through heavy painful periods, but I thought it was normal. I thought I just had a low pain threshold as none of my other friends seemed to have to miss lectures to go home early to change their clothes.
I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis in 2009. I had never even heard of the condition. I was told I had lots of endometriosis and was ‘in a bit of a mess.’ I have endometriosis covering my ovaries, fallopian tubes, my colon and in the Pouch of Douglas. I’ve been told it is unlikely I will be able to conceive naturally. So far the IVF treatment (three attempts) I have had has been unsuccessful.
Endometriosis affects me every day. Although I am lucky not to be in physical pain every day, it is an emotional rollercoaster. My husband is very supportive and I pray that one day we will achieve our dream of raising a child. I was bursting with pride when Alison ran the marathon.
It means so much when people recognise the pain I am going through and try to support me. Endometriosis UK is an amazing charity they were the first place I turned to for answers when I was diagnosed. They made me realise I was not alone and they have been there every step of the way with support and information.
Alison’s story – why I ran the Marathon for Endometriosis UK
I have only run short distances for the past 4 years, so it was a big challenge to push myself to run a marathon. I chose to run for Endometriosis UK because I knew I needed something that would pull me through the miles! It was an easy decision to run the marathon for Endometriosis UK and my sister Natalie – she is an inspiration.
Natalie has been through so much emotional and physical pain because of endometriosis. She works as a personal carer for people with disabilities, which can be a physically demanding job, but she never complains and has so much inner strength it’s unbelievable.
During the marathon I saw Natalie in the crowd at mile 18; everything was hurting and I felt like I was running on empty. I ran over and gave her a big (sweaty) hug. We both started crying and she said, 'Come on I know you can do it!'
I was so proud to complete the course in honour of her and all endometriosis sufferers.
It was an amazing day, full of emotion and memories that I am sure will last a life time. I will be wearing my medal for a while I think!