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3/14/2009

"Jeanne's Endo Blog": Endochick's Scholarship Recommendation Letter. If She Wins The Scholarship, She Will Get News Media Coverage For Endometriosis!

Endochick has been blogging since March 2007. In her first bloggy life, she had a Blogger blog. Then she transferred to Wordpress in January 2008. So she has been blogging about endometriosis for just shy of two years now.

I was honored when Endochick of
Endometriosis: The Silent Life Sentence asked me to write her a letter of recommendation for a college scholarship for which she is applying.

She was only allowed to submit one letter! Once I realized my letter was going to be "it" for recommendation letters, I wanted to be sure to do Endochick justice in my letter!! THE PRESSURE! :)

I completed my letter recently and sent it off to Endochick. I asked her permission to post it here.

(I will replace her full name below with her screen name of Endochick).



Endochick

Letter to the college scholarship judges:

I am writing to you today regarding Endochick.

I believe Endochick should get the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Alumnae Leadership and Service Award because of her outstanding service to the endometriosis community.

Endochick and I share a common illness. It’s called endometriosis and it affects an estimated 89 million women and girls worldwide.

In fact, endometriosis affects more people than AIDS or cancer (as per The Ohio State University Medical Center website: The Ohio State University Medical Center website). Endometriosis is a very serious illness and its impact is all-too-often underestimated! (Having personally had cancer removed in 1996, I can tell you that endometriosis has had a far more profound effect on my life than cancer ever did). Women and girls need people to advocate for them and teach them how to advocate for themselves.

Endochick advocates fiercely for endometriosis patients every single day…

Endochick volunteers her time to write a very highly respected blog about endometriosis.

Her blog is called, “Endometriosis: The Silent Life Sentence” and can be found here:

Endometriosis: The Silent Life Sentence

It is one of the most helpful blogs I have found! Endochick’s writings on it are helping to support and inform patients and the public. Her blog elevates awareness of this insidious disease.

She is a role model for other endometriosis patients and other endometriosis bloggers/health bloggers! Her body of work encompasses a vast amount of information that enlightens the endometriosis patient community and educates anyone who reads it.

In June 2008, I began writing a blog about endometriosis. One of the first things I did was to look at the blogs that were already available. Endochick’s blog existed long before I began writing my own endometriosis blog.

Her blog stands out from the rest for many reasons...

It is well-written, packed with information, emotionally supportive, ranks highly on Google search engines, and she has loyal readers from many other endometriosis blogs. That last part alone is a testament to how helpful her blog is… women who are sick with this serious illness take time out of their busy days to read and post comments on her blog on a regular basis. Endochick has a loyal following of readers!

Endochick uses her spare time to write this educational, supportive blog that helps so many! Her blog has been featured by CureTogether (a medical research organization you can find at CureTogether). Her blog is featured on the endometriosis section of its website.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month.

It isn’t March yet but Endochick has been very busy working on various endometriosis awareness-related activities!

Endochick has been instrumental to me in efforts to publicize an endometriosis awareness and understanding online petition that is gaining signatures every day:

Endometriosis Awareness Petition

The purpose of this petition is to get the media to understand that endometriosis affects many and affects them profoundly. We have 238 signatures and that number is growing every day. This online petition includes a comment field where each person signing it can leave their remarks. The heart-wrenching, emotional, painful comments left on this petition give the reader some insight into just how significantly endometriosis impacts patients and their loved ones.

She has worked with me to spearhead a letter-writing campaign that has captured the attention of Mariela Azcuy, Senior Associate Director of PR for Meredith Corp. (publisher of Ladies’ Home Journal, Siempre Mujer, and More magazines)...

Her impassioned plea for endometriosis awareness is posted on her blog as a “sample letter” to role model for others how to go about contacting the media with a request for coverage about a particular topic (in this case endometriosis).

See her blog entry: *ENDOMETRIOSIS AWARENESS* Letter Campaign Example!! for a peek at the “sample letter” she posted.

Posting articles such as this helps Endochick’s readers to follow her lead… and advocate for themselves and each other about endometriosis. Patients who might normally just passively read that Endochick contacted Ms. Azcuy are getting motivated to write their own letters. She uses her blog as a tool to educate and inform… as a means of empowering other endometriosis patients to follow her strong lead in bettering the lives of women and girls with endo.

She contacted Donna Jackson Nakazawa, a published author of a book about autoimmune illness/chronic illness, in an effort to obtain mainstream media attention to endometriosis.

Endochick’s tips and suggestions help patients improve their quality of life. Her generous sharing of her experiences on her blog (in often quite personal detail) helps patients enormously. I know this because I am one of the patients she has helped!

Endochick has urged readers of her blog and my blog to participate in the exciting Endometriosis Awareness Month activities we’ve been recently working on for March.

A few months back, an Internet predator was found to be preying on endometriosis patients on online support groups. Endochick published this fantastic article with tips for Internet safety:

Bloggers: Protect Yourself

I quoted this article in my own efforts to educate patients and other blog readers about the need for caution online.

One of my favorite posts from Endochick’s blog is:

Dancing With The Stars - Endometriosis

This article is so amazing, so thorough, and so informative that I asked her for permission to re-print this article on my own endometriosis blog in order to maximize the number of people seeing it!! It is a very comprehensive educational article about illnesses that can be confused with endometriosis. It makes a compelling case for the importance of getting a proper diagnosis!! In this blog post, Endochick related the chilling story of how her own sister’s cervical cancer was nearly mistaken for endometriosis. While endometriosis is a genetic illness, assuming that symptoms are endometriosis-caused without having a surgical procedure called a laparoscopy to verify that there is, in fact, endometriosis at the root of the symptoms could be a dangerous error. Her article was brilliant because it used her sister’s cancer story and her family’s endometriosis history combined to highlight the extreme importance of getting an accurate diagnosis before jumping to any conclusions. Her exhaustive list of illnesses that can mimic endo was superb! I was honored that she agreed to let me re-print this story on my own blog.

Endochick is a role model for other patients and for other endometriosis bloggers. Her blog is an important resource for patients and their loved ones. She is a huge contributor to the endometriosis community!

Endochick’s blog is well-respected by so many.

Listen to comments made on Endochick’s blog:

Comments from KEA:

"I just found your blog. I have endo also. Your title is so accurate it really touched me. I am sorry for your pain (not that it really helps), but your not alone in your pain (as im sure you know no matter what the docs say) I just wanted to say Thank You for sharing, thats what helps others to know theyre not alone either. They really do need to make more people aware but I think Its so wide spread and they know so little about it that theyre afraid of the reaction that would cause so they hide it and tell women its all in their imagination…. It gets hard suffering in silence while you appear to be healthy because no one believes you...[sic]"

Comments from Endogirltoo:

"Thanks so much for you words, you encourage me today when I didnt know what else to do!"[sic]

Comments from janniesue:

“Hello Endochick. I read this, your guest post on Jeanne’s Endo Blog and wanted to come over here to thank you for listing the many possible conditions that may indeed mimic endo conditions. It is indeed of the utmost importance that correct diagnoses be made.

Although my endo was able to be controlled, in fact stopped (after diagnosis via lap and surgery), there are still so many women out there suffering, given less than optimum care, even given misinformation by doctors. Any awareness that can be raised to help dispel myths is a step in the right direction. Thank you!”

The guest post Janniesue mentioned above was the re-print Endochick generously allowed me to do of this article:

Dancing With The Stars - Endometriosis

This article was so loaded with information that I wanted my blog readers to benefit from Endochick’s keen insights and exhaustive list of illnesses that can mimic endometriosis. I asked her to be a Guest Blogger for me because her writing is so good that it should be publicized as much as possible to help endometriosis patients.
The blog post above was especially helpful because it could save lives! Endochick related a compelling story regarding her sister’s experience with symptoms that mimicked endometriosis when, in fact, they were cancer! Endochick’s blog post illustrates the importance of proper diagnosis!

That post alone was incredibly educational for the public because it made a strong case for getting a proper diagnosis rather than jumping to conclusions. Her words in that post can potentially save lives.

Endochick is generous with her knowledge and wisdom. She mentors others, she leads by example, and she shares what she learns to help others learn and grow. She is empathetic, warm, funny, and compassionate. She has been blogging since March 2007. I asked Endochick recently how much traffic her blog gets. It averages 56 hits (and growing) per day! Clearly she is reaching many women and girls with endometriosis and their loved ones!

__________ writes her blog using the screen name “Endochick”. Here is how she describes herself on her blog:

“Endochick is a writer, a mother, a wife, and a student. She suffers from Stage III endometriosis, Sheehan’s Syndrome, Complicated Basilary Migraines, and hypothyroidism. This is her blog about her ongoing struggle with endometriosis and how it affects her life and her passion: writing”

Endochick’s blog is well-respected within the endo community and bloggers like Janniesue and Foxy take time out of their busy lives to leave positive feedback comments on her “Endometriosis: The Life Sentence” blog.

The endometriosis community is very fortunate to have Endochick’s talents as a writer... Her advocacy on behalf of women and girls with endo is unmatched. She is a driving force on getting needed support and information out to patients. Endometriosis has a profound effect on the lives of patients and their loved ones. From its potential affects on patients’ careers, education, relationships, fertility, chronic pain, etc., endometriosis is a very serious illness with a much underserved population. Endochick is part of the solution to the problem of patients lacking support, education, resources, and self-advocacy skills. Endochick is a role model for all endometriosis patients!

In addition to her blog writing, Endochick is a role model for endometriosis patients in other ways. She is committed to a vegetarian diet as a way to heal the body of manmade chemicals and additives, she’s committed to eco-friendly products as a way to both heal the planet and heal her body.

Endochick doesn’t just talk the talk. She walks the walk.

She has triumphed over her multiple chronic illnesses to function as a wife, mother, student, employee, and writer of a blog that helps many people.

I believe Endochick should get the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Alumnae Leadership and Service Award because of her outstanding service to the endometriosis community.
Her dedication and years of volunteer service are a testament to her passion for the endometriosis cause. Her blog helps people around the globe to obtain high quality information, support and resources for managing life with endometriosis. Her blog combines information, dignity, respect, and compassionate support for patients with endometriosis and their loved ones.

I am honored that Endochick asked me to write this letter because it gives me the opportunity to publicly acknowledge her hard work and dedication to the endometriosis cause. Her passion and determination to support and educate the community about endometriosis are unmatched. Her service to the endometriosis community is invaluable. She is a role model to others. She balances life as a college student, mother, wife, writer, and volunteer with grace and wit. Her blog helps many.

Sincerely,


This post was written a couple of weeks ago but I'll include the last section here to remind people about our awareness work for endometriosis on twitter...

Using twitter for promoting Endometriosis Awareness Month:

Endochick coined a slogan tonight that we would LOVE
for people to start tweeting and retweeting in honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month in March:

Endochick's slogan is:

MARCH BLOGGING MADNESS FOR ENDO AWARENESS!!!!! #endo

I sent numerous tweets tonight like this:

Endochick's brilliant idea MARCH BLOGGING MADNESS FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS AWARENESS! Great slogan. Who needs basketball? Pls retweet!#endo


This article was posted by Jeanne via "Jeanne's Endo Blog" at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.

4 comments:

endochick said...

Jeanne,

I want to thank you again for writing this for me me. It touched my heart that my blog, and my blogging, meant so much to someone out there.

It left me speechless with a kleenex in my hand.

Jeanne said...

Endochick,

My pleasure!

Jeanne

My Endo Journey said...

Good luck endochick!!!

Jeanne said...

Yes, I hope she wins!

Jeanne

HAVE YOU SIGNED YET?? Please Sign Endometriosis Awareness Petition Below! Awareness YEAR-ROUND!