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Endovidual Shaneece Turvey Runs for Endometriosis Awareness

Endovidual Shaneece Turvey Runs for Endometriosis Awareness


Thanks to the tireless efforts of our #EndoSisters far and wide, I think we can all agree that Endometriosis is finally getting some attention from medical professionals and various media outlets. Even so, there’s still so much to learn. That’s why we’re putting a spotlight on our fellow EndoSister, Endometriosis advocate, and marathon runner Shaneece Turvey.

When Turvey was diagnosed with Endometriosis at just 15 years old, she transformed her mental angst into fuel and began running. (Physically running to burn off the mental weight Endo put on her mind and her body.) What started off as a hobby, quickly turned into a fundraiser for research.

Turvey is now training for the Melbourne Marathon and is aiming to raise $2220.58 (around $3,000 AUD, with all of the proceeds going straight to our EndoSisters in Australia — Team Endo Australia.

The marathon, which will begin on Batman Avenue and finish at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is a whopping 26.2 miles (around 42.195km). On Sunday, October 14th, participants will have from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. to finish, and the prize money will be awarded to the first five participants across the finish line. (We’ve got our fingers crossed for Turvey!)

I recently had the privilege of speaking with Turvey about the marathon and her personal experience with Endometriosis. Here’s what she had to say.

DO YOU ENDO: Why did you choose a marathon to raise funds?

Turvey: “Before I started running, I suffered from serious fatigue and crazy mood swings. I struggled a lot with these symptoms and found relief in running,” she said. “As you know, these are both very common side effects. I would never have thought that something as simple as running would help manage these symptoms, yet I have seen a dramatic improvement in my both my mental health and my energy levels. I felt human again! I saw the marathon as the perfect opportunity to promote my cause, and improve my health.”

DO YOU ENDO: How has Endometriosis impacted your life since your diagnosis?

Turvey: “The biggest impact on my life was spending so much time in the hospital and not having an explanation as to what was going on with my body,” she said. “The signs started showing when I was 13, but every doctor I saw either said it was just ‘growing pains’ or ‘it’s normal for periods to be this painful.’ I even had a doctor say ‘It’s absolutely impossible for a teenager to have Endometriosis.'”

“It wasn’t until I was 15 when I started to experience chronic pain to the point where moving my legs would cause so much pain I had to be rushed to hospital in a wheelchair,” she continued.  “This was happening quite often, and I, unfortunately, took a lot of time off during high school. Missing out on such an important time in my teenage years took a toll on me emotionally. Relationships are also quite tough. Sex can be painful, and I only realized this wasn’t normal when I confided in my friends. I would say that this was when I suspected that, like my mother, I had Endometriosis.”

DO YOU ENDO: How did you learn more about Endo?

Turvey: “There aren’t any positives to having Endo, but I was quite fortunate to have my mom help me through it,” Turvey said. “She has taught me so much from her own personal battle with Endo. The little tips and tricks are usually the most beneficial, like drinking peppermint tea to help ease bloating after surgery and knowing what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. My mom told me: ‘Own the disease, don’t let it own you.’ And I have lived by it. I am also incredibly grateful that I have access to such a fantastic healthcare system at The Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.”

DO YOU ENDO: What advice or tips do you have for someone who has just been diagnosed with Endo?

Turvey: “If you have Endo or suspect that you have Endo, listen to your body. Keep track of your cycle, note when the pain is at its worst, and everything you feel during that time,” she explained. “Remember that everyone experiences it differently, and it’s okay if something doesn’t work for you. You just need to keep trying things until you find what does work for you. Be persistent, be honest, and do not let this take over your life. We are still capable of doing anything we put our minds to.”

While you’ll never catch me doing any cardio, I have crazy respect for this #EndoBabe and I am looking forward to watching her cross the finish line! To learn more about Turvey’s fundraiser, visit Team Endometriosis Australia.

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