Volunteering!

Volunteering can be fun and beneficial for you and others! Not only is Volunteering beneficial to the people you are helping but it’s also good for yourself. It is good for college, meeting people in the community, and learning valuable skills.

Colleges look for well rounded applicants, who not only do good for themselves with their grades but good for others. Volunteering shows this attribute because you are giving up your time to help someone else. Remember, if you ever volunteer ask the manager to sign a slip or write a letter saying the amount of hours you worked this will give you proof and records of what organizations you’ve helped out. Documenting your hours is important if you want to apply this time for your high school key club or add it to your college applications.

Also in some cases if you volunteer a lot for the same cause they can be a reference or a recommendation for a job or college. Usually its hard to get a job when you’re young because of lack of experience. Volunteering will give you experience. For instance, if you want to be a veterinarian, a good place to volunteer would be a humane society, so you have experience working with animals.

Also getting involved in an organization will teach you many life skills. It gives you a chance to see how things work so you can understand how to organize fundraising and learn skills like managing materials, speaking to large groups, organizing a schedule, working with others, interpersonal relationships, etc.

 If you are searching for places to volunteer here are some suggestions. Humane society, local community centers, senior centers, libraries, historical societies,summer camps, and often schools have events like fairs that volunteers can help with.  Also you should reach out to any organizations you’re interested in, like us volunteering for the EFA. Anyone will be happy with the extra help.

We hope this helped and gave you some reasons to volunteer and places to volunteer. Do you have any good suggestions on where to volunteer? Thanks for reading!

Ruby and Maya

Youth Ambassadors

Half Marathon!

          Last weekend, on March 17th, the Endometriosis Foundation of America participated in the NYC Half marathon. The marathon was 13.1 miles long. It features charities and went all through out New York. The runners circled Central Park, went through Time Square and much more. It ended downtown at the corner of Water and Wall streets which is where we were along with many other volunteers to cheer for and greet the runners. Most runners wore shirts with their charity names and a catchy slogan. Spectators cheered for everyone which truly made it (as the NYRR slogan stated) “more than a race.”

           In preparation for the half marathon we made signs and posters. After the EFA runners finished we had a post-race celebration for them with their families and the volunteers at a donated space right at the finish. There were four runners on Team EFA, each runner did great! Our fastest runner and the organizer of Team EFA, Kelly Britt, ran 13.1 miles in just 1 hour and 40 minutes!

           It was a great feeling being a part of something like this. Our efforts were really appreciated by the runners and we were so happy to get to know everyone who ran and their families. Next time, the EFA hopes to get more runners and many more volunteers. If there were more volunteers, we could have had a group at the start and groups along the race to cheer and hopefully get some publicity for the charity.

           Overall the half marathon was a success raising about $6,000 dollars for the Endometriosis Foundation of America. It was such a great event to take part in and see all the runners racing by. Here are some pictures of the event. http://www.flickr.com/photos/endofound/sets/72157633016010975/with/8565180829/

Here we are with the big signs we posted at the finish of the raceScreen Shot 2013-03-19 at 4.23.54 PM

Cheering on the runners!

The awesome running shirts “kicking the cramp out of endo”:

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Making the signs:

Thanks for reading!

Ruby and Maya

Youth Ambassadors

Interviews at the Medical Conference

      The  Endometriosis Foundation of America’s Medical Conference last weekend went great. Over the three days Saturday March 9th, Sunday March 10th, and Monday March 11th many nurses, doctors and patients came. It was a very informative symposium addressing “The American Perspective” of endometriosis research, treatment and surgery. They spoke about various topics like infertility in endo patients, excision surgery, egg freezing, quality of life with endometriosis and more.It was meant to show that despite science and technology advancing rapidly, there is still much that needs to be learned about endometriosis. If you missed the Conference go to http://www.endofound.org/video to watch segments of it.

     Dozens of people spoke about the different aspects of endometriosis and some told their personal stories with endometriosis. While we were at the conference we were able to interview two amazing endometriosis advocates Stacey A. Missmer and Lizzie O’Leary.

      Stacey Missmer is the Director of Epidemiologic Research in Reproductive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She spoke about the current research priorities in endometriosis. we asked her the following:

Q: What information is needed to be collected for adolescent studies?
A:

  • truthful information about pain
  • reocurring pain
  • symptoms
  • eating and activity done by the adolescent
  • what things do they do to help ease pain or discomfort

She also said its important to listen to your body and know that pain is not normal. If you think you need to go to a gynecologist before eighteen you should go to one. Its also important to openly be able to talk about your menstruation and what your feeling.

Q: Are there any studies collecting information right now?

A:

  • Oxford University
  • Bostons Children Hospital

      Stacey said these studies are trying to form guidelines about what the adolescents feel during their period. They are also trying to research on specific adolescent medicine instead of giving all ages the same medicine. So the job of the drug will be specifically tailored to the person.

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      We also interviewed Lizzie O’Leary Award-Winning Journalist and former CNN Correspondent. She spoke about her experience struggling with endometriosis and how it affected her career and life. To hear more about Lizzie’s life with endometriosis check out her recent interview she did with Cosmopolitan magazine http://www.endofound.org/news/336/Journalist-Lizzie-OLeary-Shares-Her-Endometriosis-Story-In-Cosmopolitan-Magazine  or watch her speech at http://www.endofound.org/video.

Q: If you could tell your 14 year old self something what would it be?
A: She wished she could have been more confident and listened to her body and the pain signals it was sending to her. If you think something is happening go to talk to someone. She said her family with a southern mother and all brothers she didn’t feel comfortable talking to them and thats why she was diagnosed much later then she could have been. When she first felt pain at the age of 14 she wished she had done something then instead of 4 years later when she first saw a gynecologist.

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      Stacey Missmer and Lizzie o’Leary bothe emphasized on the fact that if you’re feeling pain and discomfort that you think is extreme or unusual, go talk to someone; your family, relatives, nurse, doctor. and there are also so many resources out there that you should feel comfortable using.

As Padma Lakshmi says “Pain is your body’s way of telling you – something’s wrong.”

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      Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed. Do you have any suggestions on what to do when experiencing pain? If you do leave them in the comments below 🙂

Ruby and Maya
Youth Ambassadors

March is Endometriosis Month!

    March is Endometriosis month and The Endometriosis Foundation of America has a lot going on!

    This Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the fourth annual scientific and surgical symposium is being held. On Saturday March 9 ,2013 there will be patient panels and workshops this day is open to anyone, ,for free, who wants to come as long as you register at http://www.endofound.org/medicalconference/registration. Its a very informative gathering where you get to learn about endometriosis first hand. On March 10th they will hold the post graduate and resident education day for $100. Also on March 11th they are holding the Physician, Health Professional Education Day & Main Conference Symposium for $100.To learn more about each of these events go to www.endofound.org.

medical conference

The Symposium above will be held at the Einhorn Auditorium at Lenox Hill hospital 131 E. 76th Street | between Park & Lex New York City. If you are interested in going to any of these events on these days feel free to register online! There will be a lot of information given out as well as food and refreshments for attendees! So don’t miss out!

Monday night, March 11 ,2013, the 5th Annual Blossom Ball will be held with performances by Grammy Award Winning DE LA SOUL & DJ MILES GUTHRIE ROBBINS. this is the EFA’s biggest fundraising event, come join if you can. Tickets can be purchased at: www.endofound.org/blossomball blossom ball

There is a charitybuzz auction that coincides with the Ball and Endometriosis Month. A link to the auction can be found at endofound.org
Also the EFA has a special ring designed just for them that they receive 20% of the proceeds from. The link and full information can be found on the efa website too.

Lastly the EFA has registered a team for the NYC half marathon which is happening on March 17th. You can sign up to run for the team or donate at http://www.crowdrise.com/Endo/fundraiser/endometriosisfoundat. Even if you can’t attend the conferences or the ball it would be great to see all endo supporters come support the efa runners at the marathon!

nyc marathon

That’s it for the EFA activities during endometriosis month! We hope to see you at these events, we’ll be there! Thanks for reading. (the photos will enlarge by pressing on them.)

Ruby and Maya
Youth Ambassadors

If you have any comments or questions leave a comment or email us at rubyandmaya@gmail.com

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition which the endometrial cells that grow in the uterus (and are shed during menstuation) develop in other areas like the bladder or ovaries. 176 million girls and women worldwide have endometriosis.

Doctors and surgeons don’t have a direct link to where endometriosis comes from but it has sometimes been associated with auto immune disorders such as thyroid disease. Endometriosis has been found to sometimes be hereditary but not in all cases. A woman or girl with a mother who has endometriosis is seven times more likely to have the disease herself.

Because of the lack of education in endometriosis it is often miss diagnosed, miss treated, and put off to the side. Thousands of unnecessary hysterectomies and removal of organs have happened due to this. Often doctors will just give women painkillers and hormones which will mask the symptoms instead of treating the disease. If you have endometriosis it is treatable so make sure you go to specialized doctors to find out exactly what you can do. According to the EFA the best treatment is presicion lapriscopic surgery which is the deep removal of all disease from all areas effected.

Here are three screening questions.

  1. Experienced so much pain around your periods that you are unable to attend school, work or social events?
  2. Experienced very heavy bleeding that lasts for more than the first two days of your period?
  3. Experienced recurring pelvic pain (pain in your lower belly) any time during the month when you do NOT have your period, which prevents you from participating in daily activities or causes you to take medication to relieve the pain?

If you answered yes to any of these something could be wrong and you may or may not have endometriosis. Just to be safe you should see a doctor.

For detailed symptoms of endometriosis visit: http://www.endofound.org/endometriosis

We hope now after reading this you have a better understanding of what endometriosis is and does to the people diagnosed with it. Please share this information with your friends to educate everyone on this disease. To find out more about endometriosis please visit endofound.org if you would like to hear a story of a women with endometriosis and how it truly affected her whole life and career please check out this article http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/lizzie-oleary-endometriosis?click=main_sr

Hope this helped!

Ruby and Maya

Spreading the Word

On Monday January 28 the Endometriosis Foundation Of America presented at the NYC Office of School Health High School Program Professional Development Day for New York City high school nurses. As part of the EFA’s presentation they gave the nurses a tote bag with pamphlets, posters, assessment guide,personal pain profile, tips for getting proper care,and a consider endometriosis worksheet. Check out the links page to find out where you can download, for free the tool kit, guide and poster. Bags and other merchandise can be purchased through the EFA store link. This event was really important for the EFA because it educated the school nurses on how to spread awareness about endometriosis and consider if their students have endometriosos.These are pictures of us volunteering to stuff bags for the event.Image

We as well as a few others stuffed 150 bags for this event. Here is a picture of some of the bags and the table set up at the presentation.Image

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We really enjoyed putting together these bags. Knowing that over 100 New York City school nurses now have this information is great to hear and shows that just a little bit of effort and a little part of your time can help spread awareness and make a huge difference. It is very important for a condition like endometriosis to be taught and learned about starting in school nurses offices otherwise endometriosis may not be diagnosed until much later in life. Spreading this information will hopefully be a resource to start diagnosis early to shorten suffering in endometriosis patients.

Thanks for reading!

Ruby and Maya

How to help spread awareness

Hi everyone! I hope you like this article which will give you some tips on how to help spread awareness for the charity of your choice. We’ll be talking about the EFA because it’s a charity we believe in. First you want to find a charity or cause you believe in and you want to help promote.
Ask how you can help and ask about working at organized events as a volunteer.
For example, we support the Endometriosis Foundation of America, Inc.
We have helped organize merchandise, stuffed gift bags, worked at information tables at organized events and talked to others to help spread the word.
Right now the EFA is running a poster campaign to raise awareness. They are asking people to order their poster (for free) and bring one to your school nurse to hang in the nurse’s office. They also encourage you to ask local merchants to hang one in their windows and if you or your parents belong to a gym, ask for them to hang a poster in the locker room. Good places to hang these posters as well would be in a public bathroom, or even work offices –  the key is to get more people knowing about it.
Here’s a picture of us volunteering at the EFA’s nurse conference. This was a really fun event and very informative for us to learn more about endometriosis. It’s important to know about the cause you’re promoting, and going to their events/campaigns is a great way to learn.
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We want to know your experience with volunteering and helping to raise awareness. What charities are you interested in? Do you have any good tips to get involved?
We hope this helped!
Ruby and Maya
Check out the links page on this blog to find out more about the EFA.
We are not affiliated with the EFA-we’re  just committed volunteers.

Period Tracking Apps

Period Tracking apps are a great way to get organized, track your symptoms, your period, moods and more. Its very handy to keep track of your how you’re feeling while on your period and the pains you may be having in order to show your doctor. Probably the coolest thing about these period and ovulation tracking apps is that you’ll be able to know when to expect your next period. We also love all the features that help you add details very easily, like cravings, pains, mood swings that you are having. Another awesome feature that we have found with most of these apps is that they have an option to join a forum- an online  conversation with other people with the app and maybe the same issues you are going through. After researching and dowloading 6 apps that were free and available for andriod and apple’s iphone and ipod touches we have found 2 favorites that we want to share with you!

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This first app is called MyDays this is really simple and easy to understand. In the picture above you can see some of the features but there are also more! Such as the forum option or “user chat” also predictions for when you will menstruate and ovulate during the month. As long as you input data into the app about when your period starts stops and your feelings it will be an amazing resource for helping in the future or just for reference in front of a doctor.

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This is the other app called period tracker! I got the “lite” version because it is free but i’m not sure what the difference is between the deluxe version which is $1.99  because this app is so good in itsself. Although this app is only available for the apple products and not android at the moment which is unfortunate :(. If you are an android user definitely get MyDays though because its equally just as good! This app doesn’t have the forum option but it has alot of other great things, like… a calendar, notes section, period log etc.

Hopefully soon enough we can get One app that is simple, has all the amazing feautues and is available for all smart phones to use as a period tracker.

Have you tried either of these apps, or  are there any others you would recommend?  Let us know.

We hope this helped you!

Ruby and Maya