Deborah's story

Deborah Hayes climbs Mount Snowdon for Endometriosis UK

Just six months after having a hysterectomy, Deborah climbed Mount Snowdon to raise money for Endometriosis UK. Besides completing this difficult challenge, she also managed to smash her fundraising target of £360 and raise an astounding £1000!

“So many people were so supportive of me doing the challenge – it was an incredibly emotional journey.”

My experience of endometriosis

I had always suffered with painful heavy periods. I was just given painkillers and told by doctors I was just being a bit sensitive. I was diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis when I was 40. I had two laparoscopies, which alleviated my symptoms, but only for a short while. Three weeks out of four I was ill. I had heavy bleeding, tiredness, a bloated tummy, an upset stomach, terrible headaches and sweats, as well as unbearable stomach and lower back pain. I would experience awful sickness and was very emotional. I had to carry an emergency kit of spare pants, tights and baby wipes as I was constantly having accidents.

I had a hysterectomy just six months before climbing Mount Snowdon for Endometriosis UK.

Why I decided to fundraise for Endometriosis UK

I decided to fundraise for Endometriosis UK as the organisation were really supportive. I used the Endometriosis UK forum as sometimes no one really understood what I was going through. Following my hysterectomy, I felt so much better and really wanted to give something back to Endometriosis UK. I also wanted to show other women that you may have endometriosis but it doesn't have to have you – you can have a life with endometriosis.

I can't believe that six months after my surgery I climbed a mountain, when before I could barely work or stand.

Smashing my fundraising target

Once signed up for the Snowdon Horseshoe Challenge, I used social media to tell friends about endometriosis. Many friends were shocked about its side effects and had seen first-hand how ill I had been, so I just constantly sent tweets and made posts on Facebook. I made sure that every time anyone donated, that I personally thanked them. I contacted the local paper, which wrote a great article that linked to my Facebook page and I received lots of donations.

I also got permission from my manager to do a bucket collection in shop I work in. Some colleagues and I wore Endometriosis UK T-shirts and spoke to the customers about endometriosis. People were very happy to support me.

My top tip is to keep talking about your fundraising and to update everyone on your training using social media.

Climbing Mount Snowdon was like the huge mountain I climbed every day before I had my hysterectomy. So many people were so supportive of me doing the challenge – it was an incredibly emotional journey. On the day, I didn't feel like I would make it, but sheer determination and the support I got from the other walkers got me there. I did it – and I felt amazing!

– Deborah