"It can be physically and emotionally draining at times, but having a supportive network of friends and family who are willing to understand and raise awareness definitely helps."
In just one week on 19th May 2023, 6 brave challengers are taking on the 'One Million KG Challenge' fundraising for Endometriosis UK in support of their loved ones with endometriosis. We caught up with Lucy, whose Dad organised the huge challenge.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey with endometriosis.
Pain and fatigue began for me at around 16 years old. At the time, I was training full time as a dancer, so it was easy to put my symptoms down to that (even though none of my friends were experiencing the same). I would take every break possible to nap just so I had enough energy to get through the day, and my body was in a constant state of pain and fatigue. This subsequently led to me having to give up my career in dance without really understanding why this was happening to my body.
I continued to suffer even without the presence of periods, until the pain was so bad one time that I passed out and my friend had to ring an ambulance. It was then that I realised this was far from normal and something had to be done. It took several visits to my GP and specialists for my pain to be taken seriously and finally I was diagnosed via surgery in 2019. The pain subsided for a few months, but a second surgery was needed less than 2 years later.
I still struggle on almost a daily basis, and my lifestyle has had to adapt dramatically to manage my symptoms. I was unable to hold down a full-time career so now work as a freelancer which allows me to rest when necessary and have the time off I need during an endo flare up. I still have to be cautious when it comes to work and social commitments as my body gets fatigued easily which can lead to my symptoms worsening. It can be physically and emotionally draining at times, but having a supportive network of friends and family who are willing to understand and raise awareness definitely helps.
Your Dad and the 1 Million KG team are taking on a huge challenge! Can you tell us about it?
The 1 Million KG is a group of 6 fathers, husbands and brothers who are raising awareness for those in their lives who are suffering from endometriosis. They are putting their fitness to the test by using free weights (weighted squats, deadlifts, barbell rows and bench press) to move 1,000,000KG within 24 hours. The weight is equivalent of lifting and moving 200 fully grown elephants!
What does it mean to you that your Dad has taken on this challenge?
I'm sure anyone suffering with endometriosis would agree that any support from friends and family is hugely important and appreciated. With endometriosis being an often invisible disease, it is so easy for people to not take it seriously so to have my Dad advocating not only the pain I have been through, but for all of those suffering, really means a lot.
Any words you'd like to share with your Dad and the team ahead of the challenge?
I would love to say a massive thank you to my Dad and the rest of the team for putting themselves through this huge challenge. I have witnessed just some of their many gruelling training sessions in preparation for the 19th May so I feel incredibly proud and inspired by their determination to take on such a tough challenge for endometriosis. You've got this! Any support is massively appreciated by the team, myself and those who have or know anyone struggling with endometriosis.
A huge thank you to Lucy for sharing her story and to her Dad Matthew and the 1Million KG Challenge team for their incredible support. You can visit their challenge page here.