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Our story

The Endometriosis Foundation was set up by Carla Cressy, a former model from Essex, England, who suffered from most of the obvious signs of Endometriosis from the age of just 13, but despite multiple visits to her GP and emergency admissions to A&E, for years her symptoms were dismissed and wrongly diagnosed.

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Carla's story

Carla was officially diagnosed with Endometriosis aged 25, over a decade after her symptoms started. This late diagnosis impacted much of her adult life, resulting in 8 surgeries - including a bladder reconstruction, bowel surgery – resulting in a temporary ileostomy (stoma), and a total hysterectomy – taking away the chance of her ever bearing her own child, and forcing her into surgical menopause at just 29 years of age. 

 

To this very day, Carla has never received any information or support outside of her family and friends.

As a consequence of her suffering, she decided she wanted to make a difference. She set up an online support group which now helps thousands of people. She began carrying out talks in schools which led her to starting a national campaign to raise awareness of Endometriosis amongst those in education.

 

Her campaign was supported by our late, honourable Chair and Trustee, Sir David Amess - MP for Southend-West, to which on March 14th, 2018, The Endometriosis All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was formed and a little over a year later, Endometriosis was included in the school curriculum.

Left to right: Jackie Doyle-Price; Carla Cressy; Gerry Gallott;Jill Furniss;Heidi Salter;Aamilah Begum;Paula Sheriff; David Amess
Pictured Left to right: Jackie Doyle-Price; Carla Cressy; Gerry Gallott; Jill Furness; Heidi Salter; Aamilah Begum; Paula Sheriff; David Amess
​"I was delighted that Carla and her colleagues met a number of MPs who not only emphasised with their condition but were actually suffering themselves. The whole purpose of the newly formed group is to heighten awareness of the disorder, share experiences and encourage support".

Sir David Amess - Late MP for Southend-West

The Endometriosis APPG

The endometriosis APPG launched an enquiry in February 2020, collecting evidence from people across the UK highlighting their experiences with endometriosis. The key goal was to reduce the time it takes to be diagnosed which currently takes on average 7 years. This is unacceptable. 

The report also found that prior to getting a diagnosis:

  • A shocking 58% visited their GP more than 10 times

  • 43% visited doctors in hospital over 5 times

  • 53% visited A&E

Once diagnosed, just 19% knew whether or not they were seen in an endometriosis specialist centre, and 90% would have liked access to psychological support.

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