The Brightside: Endo Warriors of the Eastern Shore
DELMARVA – March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, but there’s a Facebook group that supports women living with the disease year-round, and the woman behind that group is right here on Delmarva.
Shannon Hannawald is an endometriosis survivor, and she’s also the woman behind Endo Warriors of the Eastern Shore. It’s a Facebook support group for other women living with the disease.
“I’ve met so many amazing women that are grateful, and actually start talking about their issues with it once they realize they’re not alone,” said Shannon.
Endometriosis is a painful condition where tissue grows on the outside of a woman’s uterus and can even grow on other organs. Shannon started the Facebook group after she says doctors dismissed her symptoms for years, something she says many women go through when trying to get a diagnosis.
“It normally takes 8-10 years to a diagnosis, so in that time you have doctors telling you there’s nothing wrong with you.”
The Facebook group supports each other year-round, but their activism kicks into high gear in March, which serves as Endometriosis awareness month. During the month, they encourage towns and businesses to light up in yellow – the color associated with endometriosis awareness.
“We have a bunch of towns lighting up, originally Denton, Greensboro, Preston, and then I have about 14 towns and counties that are doing proclamations.”
For the first time this year, they’ve taken their message to the state level.
“The Governor actually did a proclamation, and it was the first one that has ever been done for this in the state of Maryland.”
Shannon says they’re trying to get everyone on board to make sure future generations don’t suffer the way some women in the group did.
“Even though it’s extremely uncomfortable to talk about a lot of the time, we have to. We can’t allow, I will not allow my nieces to go through what I did, or my future granddaughters, so I just have to make sure we keep spreading awareness, we keep talking about it,” Shannon says.
You can follow along with the group’s journey through their Facebook page.