What an event! I’m completely wiped out. My back, hips and feet ache. It was worth it!
March 13, 2014, was the first Annual Million Women March for Endometriosis, worldwide.
The EndoMarch was coordinated and sponsored by Dr.Camran Nezhat of Stanford University in San Francisco; Dr. Farr Nezhat, Gynecologist Oncologist in New York; Dr. Ceana Nezhat, in Georgia; Dr.Azadeh Nezhat has offices in Palo Alto, California and Atlanta, GA.
The day began with registration and an educational symposium at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditoriumm in the morning. Then followed by a ceremony in the National Mall, including a private concert from Super star, Sheryl Crow and then the March. There was also a small reception and awards ceremony afterwards.
My husband and I arrived at the Mellon Auditorium a little past 9:45am (due to walking in the wrong direction for a block and then turning around). We missed a few speakers from the panel, but we quickly hurried to the empty seats that were vacated by the Precinct Managers (who had to get ready for the ceremony) in the front of the auditorium.
There were a panel of doctors and professionals discussing Endometriosis and what is being done so far. The World Endometriosis Society, NIH, MIT, the Endometriosis Foundation, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, American College of Ob/Gyns (ACOG), The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health, Endometriosis Research Center, Center for Endometriosis Care, American Medical Association and so many more, were there to support us and share this historic day with us.
Once we got to the National Mall, the sharing of more stories and education continued. The ceremony was approximately 2 hours long and very moving. Mika Brzezinski was the Master of Ceremonies and tried (unsuccessfully I believe) to deter everyone’s thoughts from the frigid wind and cold. It was in the 20’s with a constant wind at 20mph and gusts over 30!
It was wonderful to hear stories about being diagnosed with endometriosis, seeing all the strong women standing on stage sharing their stories. Stephanie March also told us of her struggle to get a diagnosis and pretty recent excision surgery with Dr. Farr Nezhat in NY.
Finally, Sheryl Crow appeared on stage and gave us a private concert. She sang an assortment of her hits and a new song. I’m very grateful to her for sharing her talent with us. It was very impressive that she could sing in that wind.
The time finally came and Ms. March was alongside the Nezhat family, leading the march through the Mall. In fact, she tweeted this photograph.
There were anywhere from 600-800 people endomarching! Maybe less, maybe more. We made our way around the National Mall and back to the auditorium. We had to wait outside for everyone to go through the metal detectors.
Back in the auditorium, there were smaller tables around the sides and there was a DJ playing everything you could imagine. In the middle were large round tables with finger foods, sliders and such. There were awards given to advocates, precinct managers, and doctors for being Endo heroes. Dr. Camran Nezhat gave another speech, thanking us for coming.
And then it was time to say goodbye.
It was an emotional day. It was a bitter cold day (considering the day before it was in the mid to upper 60’s and then in the 20’s while we stood and sat and walked outside for four hours). It was breathtaking to see the sea of yellow indoors. Knowing that I was among my endosisters and fellow endowarriors was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. Meeting some of them in person was amazing. There were quite a few I didn’t get to meet but plan on meeting next year.
Knowing that we are making a difference is an incredible feeling. While I was sitting out there in the freezing cold, listening to others validating the feelings and pains I’ve had, I was completely at peace. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. Thank you.