Maddy Forster understands what the pain and discomfort associated with Endometriosis is like, having lived with the debilitating condition for eight years. This is why Maddy is thrilled to have raised $15,059 by recently walking around The Tan track in Melbourne as part of Endometriosis Awareness Month in March.

All funds raised by Maddy will be donated to the Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre at Epworth as they endeavour to change outcomes for women diagnosed with Endometriosis like Maddy.

The Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre is entirely funded by philanthropy and the vital work undertaken by the dedicated team of specialists at the centre would not be possible without the support of Epworth’s wonderful donors. 100% of the funding that the Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre receives goes into research, clinical care and improving patient experience.

Epworth Medical Foundation Executive Director, Scott Bulger, praised Maddy’s fundraising efforts. ‘This is an outstanding result and Maddy’s determination to plan and complete this walk is a true inspiration to me, as well as many people suffering from Endometriosis.’ he said.

‘Well done Maddy and thank you to everyone who donated to Maddy’s Walk for Endo. You’ve not only contributed to raising awareness of this chronic condition, but every dollar raised will go to the centre to help find new and better ways to treat this disease.’

A difficult journey

Maddy was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis and Adenomyosis in 2020 after three years of misdiagnosis, chronic pain and dismissal from doctors.

Throughout her journey, Maddy has already experienced a number of surgeries – two ablation surgeries, where a thin layer of endometrium (tissue) that lines the uterus is removed and three excision surgeries, where affected tissue is cut out. She recently endured her sixth surgery to try to relieve her symptoms. ‘I sit here at the age of 26 still experiencing pain, fatigue and pure exhaustion,’ Maddy said. ‘I can go days on end with some form of constant back pain’.

Maddy has also previously frozen her eggs as a precaution in case she has trouble conceiving naturally in the future, which can be a complication for some women suffering from Endometriosis.

‘There is currently no cure and surgery has given me nearly two years relief, but the last few months have been difficult and I've been juggling new medications to help my symptoms’, she said.

About Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a chronic gynaecological disease in which cells similar to those that line the uterus grow in other areas of the body. Endometrial lesions are commonly found on the pelvic organs and, although rare, can grow on other organs throughout the body such as the heart, brain and lungs. Symptoms vary for each person, but frequently include severe pelvic pain, heavy vaginal bleeding, infertility, nausea, vomiting, feeling tired and lethargic and mental health problems.

It is currently estimated that Endometriosis affects one in nine Australian women and the average time before a formal diagnosis is made is seven years. This is attributed to the fact that Endometriosis symptoms are often similar to many other conditions, as well as the normalisation of period pain within society.

Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre

The Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre at Epworth aims to achieve better health outcomes for people with Endometriosis and provides a holistic approach to patient care. ‘Research has shown that patients with Endometriosis benefit from multi-disciplinary care. Some will require surgery, some will require medication, some will require psychological help. So we are aiming to bring in all of those models of care, tailored to patients depending on their individual requirements,’ said Dr Sarah Holdsworth-Carson, Research Program Manager.

The centre was established in collaboration with long-term Endometriosis sufferer Julia Argyrou and her husband Michael, with the hope that it will help other sufferers access the information and support they need.

Further information

Read about Maddy’s experience with Endometriosis and her fundraising effort.

Find out more about the Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre, including Julia’s personal story.

Your support is needed

Find out how you can donate to support the Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre, or other areas in need, by visiting Epworth Medical Foundation’s Ways to donate page.

To learn more about the impact of philanthropy at Epworth, visit News and Stories.


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