Women’s Health Week gave dozens of people dealing with polycystic ovary syndrome throughout the country and here in the CSRA a chance to go to Washington, D.C. to help their condition.
Health advocates hit the nation’s capital turning their pain into policy. Lindsay Martin flew in from Houston, Texas to talk about her hormonal, metabolic and endocrine disorder for the first time.
“I deal with bipolar depression,” Martin explained. “I deal with anxiety. deal with hair loss. I deal with hair growth on my face. I deal with not having a menstrual period, so I actually don’t ovulate. I don’t know if I can have kids.”
More than 50 advocates have their own stories on Capitol Hill this week. Shelby Eckard started her own support group in Aiken, South Carolina that connects thousands.
“Infertility, weight loss. I’m struggling with mental health issues like anxiety and depression,” Eckard shared.
Atlanta based PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association organized the event. What started as a bi-partisan resolution supported by U.S. Senators David Perdue from Georgia and Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts last year became the ammunition needed for patients to request more.
“This serious condition impacts more than 200,000 women in the state of Georgia and can lead to more complications such as diabetes and heart disease. Raising awareness is the first step in preventing further health risks, and visits like this one today are important,” said U.S. Senator David Perdue.
“There are doctors who actually aren’t educated on what PCOS is,” she said. “There needs to be more research and funding and education done. There needs to be more access to care. There needs to be more access to medications and procedures that insurance needs to be jumping on board to help women.”
Advocates spent three hours training for PCOS Advocacy Day where they will hand deliver more than 1500 letters detailing their PCOS journey to their respective US Senators and Representatives. Letters hail from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
“To go nine years undiagnosed and be told that you’re crazy. And now to go through that you may not have kids, I’m at the point where maybe I just don’t care because I don’t want to deal with it.”