“Endometriosis” is not a word we encounter on a daily basis. However, despite limited knowledge about the condition, it is a gynecological illness which affects women worldwide. One Jamaican woman, Mrs. Shauna Fuller Clarke, is lobbying to reduce, if not totally eliminate, ignorance of this illness through the “Shauna Fuller Clarke’s B.A.S.E.” Foundation.
The foundation, which was officially launched today under the distinguished patronage of Her Excellency the Most Honourable Lady Allen, was established to promote Better Awareness and Support for those who suffer from Endometriosis (B.A.S.E.).
Mrs. Fuller Clarke, in sharing her personal experience with Stage Four Endometriosis, explained: “This trauma rocked my family very much. I was released from the hospital…it was a bittersweet experience! I was elated – I was no longer subjected to hospital foods, X-rays or blood tests at 5:30 a.m. every day. Yet we were concerned because the doctors released me and they had absolutely no idea what was going on.”
“I openly share my story with you so that you can understand why an organization such as the Shauna Fuller Clarke’s B.A.S.E. Foundation had to be established. Through support there is strength… I need to connect with my Jamaican ‘endo-sisters’ to share with them, to lend them invaluable support,” said Mrs. Fuller Clarke.
Lady Allen, in welcoming those in attendance, stated that she was pleased to be patron of the Foundation, noting that “There is no time as the present to support the wellbeing of our women and, in turn, our society.” She expressed her confidence in the Foundation’s ability to increase the awareness of endometriosis through a network here in Jamaica.
“I pledge my support to the growth and development of the Foundation as it seeks to achieve its objectives and improve the quality of life of many Jamaican women,” said Lady Allen.
Endometriosis occurs when cells usually found in the uterus begin to grow elsewhere in the body. Some of the possible signs used to identify this condition are: painful menstruation, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility, among others. While there is no known cure for the condition, various treatments have been identified that can improve the lives of women who suffer from it.
His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, Health Minister the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Minister of Youth and Culture the Honourable Lisa Hanna, US Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater and Chief Justice Zaila McCalla were among the guests who supported the launch.