The Faces of Endo

Nikki Waldmann
Mesa Legend

Photo of Nikki Waldmann“The Faces of Endo” is a blog that was created and founded by Angela Wice. This blog is an outlook for women everywhere struggling with the everyday pains of Endometriosis, and who need a support system. Wice is a twenty-seven year old woman who deals with the everyday struggles of Endometriosis. This is a painful disease when the lining of the uterus grows on the outside of the uterus instead of the inside. Endometriosis is a silent disease that a woman can look normal on the outside but can be dealing with chronic pelvic pain, lower back pain, painful periods, and pain with intercourse.  Wice was misdiagnosed for fourteen years and at the age of twenty-seven was given an answer to her problems. Most women going through this have family and friends for a support system; Angela was left completely alone.

Photo Courtesy of Faces of Endo
Endometriosis effects over five million women a year. There are ways to manage pain but currently there is no cure for endometriosis.
Photo Courtesy of Faces of Endo

Wice turned to the Internet to reach out to other women dealing with this same pain, and after meeting so many passionate caring people through Twitter she found her support system. In 2013 Angela started a blog called “The Faces of Endo,” it is a place where she could not only connect with other women but to provide information and help women everywhere who did not have a voice or a support system. After a post about “Visanne”, a drug used to help reduce the effects of estrogen, The Faces of Endo blog started to take off. More women started to connect with not only this blog, but with Wice as well. She then thought of the idea to make a collage to put a face with the disease and to let others know they were truly not alone in this.  “I really did not expect to get much to be honest, but it spread like wildfire and I collected around 1000 faces and posted them on my blog wall and all over social media,” Angela stated.

After the huge success of the collages Wice created a short film called “The Faces of Endo Movie.” It is a film about the daily life struggles women with endo face, and how women are standing up together. Even more so how they are treated unfairly. This movie has been shown at many awareness events and can be found on Vimeo now. Julie Chyurlia explains her long fight with endometriosis.  “Twenty-nine depressing years to finally get diagnosed!” said Chyurlia. “I feel less alone when I see the other faces in the collages.” said Chyurlia.  “So many doctors told me for twenty-nine years that I was over dramatic and must be imagining the pain. Seeing all the other faces helps me acknowledge that I am not alone or crazy … I have Endo and its real!” added Chyurlia After the success of the first collage in 2014, Wice recently decided to do the collages again but with different information this time so that it can be shared with loved one, friends, and at upcoming events.

So many women have found The Faces of Endo as a way to connect with other women; since anyone who does not deal with the everyday struggles of endo cannot understand. Currently the Facebook page has 1,383 followers and it keeps growing daily. Many women have opened up on the Facebook page about how long they have dealt with endometriosis and how so many women have been misdiagnosed. Not only is this page getting a lot of views on Facebook, it’s even getting recognition on Instagram as well. Jackie Milanese with the user name “fitfighter_withendo” on Instagram couldn’t be happier with the blog. “I am really excited over the faces of Endo because we need to get the word out there, plus I love seeing all my sisters together. I really hope that the awareness gets out there quicker, with our faces being out there.

It’s a beautiful thing, it really is. It’s nice to see that we are never alone, we have sisters.”  Wice was recently nominated for five Wego health awards for the top leading health activist.  Laurie Penner explains her journey with endometriosis and why she loves The Faces of Endo “I always as a child had a lot of bladder/bowel issues and lots of stomach pain. All in all it took 13 years for a doctor to confirm Endo and not brush me off.  I love the Faces as it shows i’m not alone and that we can FIGHT to be heard now, more than ever before!”

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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