Three years ago and after recovering from her fourth round of major surgery, Zena Cooper organised her first event to raise funds and awareness about Endometriosis.
Her first event was a great success; raising £750 for Endometriosis UK and helped Zena to refocus: “I wasn’t recovering from the operation and was very down at that time. Whilst I was off work I spent time researching the illness, my future prospects and sought support, counselling and a referral to the specialist centre and also became aware of the annual awareness campaign.
“I found the event really helped me to refocus my mind and also to let my friends and family know just how much I suffered with Endometriosis. It was very cathartic. The event was such a success that it has now become an annual event and I now have the fabulous Follies as a venue and never short of stall holders.”
The evening is for women (men are also welcome) and browse the many stalls, take part in the raffle, have a mini treatment, a psychic reading or pick up some sweet treats from the cake stall. It is also an opportunity to for people to find out the illness: “People can talk to me about signs, symptoms, management of chronic illness, improving mental wellbeing and how to get diagnosed and ultimately treated.
“The average diagnosis time is still 7.5 years which is far too long. I fought to get a diagnosis for 18 years by which time my illness was so extensive that despite 5 surgeries and now being treated by the Endometriosis Specialist Centre in Kent I face a life of illness.
“Every year I meet more women who have been through hell with this illness and we talk about our experiences but more importantly it gets people talking about it.”