Endo Activists of the Year
This blog is dedicated to the annual EndoMarch Award winners, including the Endo Activists of the Year and EndoMarch Volunteers of the Year.
REBECCA GODFREY, CHAPTER PRESIDENT, TEAM BLUFFTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
We start off with an interview with Ms. Rebecca Godfrey, President of the Bluffton, South Carolina EndoMarch Chapter, who hosted the first-ever Bluffton EndoMarch on March 24, 2018. Rebecca’s event was a great success and provided a place for support and advocacy for those near Bluffton, S.C. who are living with endometriosis. You can visit Team Bluffton’s Facebook group here.
EndoMarch HQ (HQ): Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to share your experiences as an EndoMarch Event Host for Team SC-Bluffton! Would you mind telling us a little about yourself? For example, how long have you been battling endometriosis? Was there a particular experience or epiphany during your journey that influenced your decision to become an Endometriosis Advocate?
Rebecca Godfrey (RG): I have had endometriosis for a number of years but didn’t get properly diagnosed until last year (2017). I have been battling endometriosis since I was 16 years old. I decided to become an Endo Advocate when I couldn’t find any local support groups or anything/anyone that knew what I was going through. So I decided to take a stand and end the silence and help the ladies in my area who were battling this disease just as I am.
HQ: Can you tell us a little about your EndoMarch event? Are there any special highlights that you’re especially proud of and would like to share?
RG: This was the first ever event in Bluffton SC We started out sharing our stories and getting to know each other & where everyone had traveled from. The first EndoMarch SC-Bluffton ribbon cutting was great! We were all there for this first-ever event in Bluffton, and it felt as if were surrounded by family.
HQ: What keeps you going? What inspires you to keep fighting for change?
RG: My family keeps me going. Without them I don’t know what I would have done. My daughters inspire me to push harder to find a cure so that they and all young girls won’t have to go through what my family and I have had to endure.
HQ: A lot of people have mentioned that one of the most wonderful outcomes of the EndoMarch experiences has been having a chance to meet other Endo sisters from around the world. What was that experience like for you? Do you have special new friendships that were forged? Did you learn anything new or surprising about Endometriosis from these new relationships that you didn’t know before?
RG: It was awesome. I was nervous and excited, all rolled into one! I met some really supportive and inspiring ladies that day. Some of them have been battling this disease for a lot longer than I and one is a survivor.
HQ: What is something you want the world to know about Endometriosis? About the effect it has on your life or the life of a loved one?
RG: Endometriosis is a real disease that affects millions of women worldwide, with more than just the common period aches and pains. Rather, it causes chronic pain and fatigue and so much more. It has taken a toll on my relationship with my fiancée and on my kids because I am not able to do the things I once was able or loved to do.
HQ: Did you get a chance to work with medical professionals to attend or otherwise help support your event? If yes, what was that like? Do you think they listened to your concerns? Did they speak at your event? Do you think they’ll be on board for next year?
RG: No I didn’t get to work with any medical professionals. I hope to get some for next year and that’s what I’m currently working on now. I’m hoping to have more people on board for next year.
HQ: On the tactical front, any tips that you’d like to share with people who want to get involved? For example, how did you recruit volunteers to join your team? Did you have any luck getting in touch with journalists or elected officials? If you secured sponsors, first of all, congratulations (!), and tell us a little bit about them and how you got them on board? In general, what do you think was the most effective outreach strategy for just getting the word out? What was the least effective strategy?
RG: I reached out for volunteers through Facebook as a first step. I now also have Instagram, Twitter, and I also made a website. I post on all of those sites all the time with updates etc..I wasn’t able to get a sponsor this year, and so it’s something I’m working towards for next year. I really didn’t have strategy that didn’t work – I tried various outreach method and they all made a difference!
Thank you again, Rebecca, for taking time to talk with us!
Stay tuned for an interview from Sofia Arellano, Global Endometriosis Ambassador, who was nominated as one of our 2018 EndoMarch Volunteers of the Year.