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Cape woman participating in EndoMarch Saturday

By Staff | Mar 24, 2015

One local woman will join hundreds across the country to march on Washington, D.C., this weekend in an effort to raise awareness about endometriosis.

The 2nd Annual Worldwide EndoMarch will take place on Saturday in dozens of cities around the world, including in Palo Alto, California, and Washington, D.C. The annual event aims to educate the public on endometriosis, an incurable and possibly crippling disease affecting about 1 in 8 females.

“I’m trying to help the young girls,” Cape Coral resident Rose Furio said. “The goal is to get more awareness and get the word out – the world doesn’t even know what endometriosis is.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, endometriosis is an often painful disorder where tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. Endometriosis most commonly involves the ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining the pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond the pelvic region.

Furio was diagnosed with it at the age of 40.

“It took many years for me to get diagnosed,” she said.

The common symptoms are severe pelvic and stomach pain, especially during one’s menstrual cycle, along with painful bowel movements. There may also be heavy bleeding and heavy blood clots.

“It starts off in the ovaries – it can fuse all your internal organs together,” Furio said.

About 30 percent to 40 percent of women become infertile without treatment.

“Right now, there is no cure,” she said.

On Saturday, Furio will take part in the Washington, D.C., march. The event will feature pre-march activities, an opening ceremony and speakers, followed by the march at Upper Senate Park.

“We’re going to march only a few blocks because a lot of girls can’t march for that long,” she said. “These aren’t marathon runners, these are women in pain.”

Afterward, the participants will join together at a reception for a meet-and greet.

“At least 1,000 have registered for D.C.,” she said of the turnout.

Last year, more than 2,000 people took part in the march on Washington, D.C.

“I don’t know of any local women who are going,” Furio said.

However, women from other areas of Florida will be attending, including from Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa and Miami. Some are going thanks to Furio’s fundraising efforts.

“We did some fundraising through Facebook, a Go Fund Me account,” she said.

Furio raised $2,000 locally, covering airfare and hotel accommodations for five women.

A donation by Zak’s Jewelry of a set of pearl sterling silver earrings for a raffle was a big help.

“It was very kind of them,” she said. “I did not expect it.”

For more information on endometriosis or the Worldwide EndoMarch, visit: www.endomarch.org.

“They can find out what’s going on for next year,” Furio said.