Tears as charity brings endometriosis message home to Claire

Date published: 31 March 2024

When a Rochdale teaching assistant learned an endometriosis event was being staged at her local bowling club, she cried – because she “never believed something like that would come to Norden.”

Claire Warburton, 44, had endured severe abdominal pain, seizures and even a mini stroke because medics struggled to diagnose the condition, which blights the lives of one in ten women of childbearing age.

She also admits to “dark thoughts” and has even had the breast cancer she fought, attributed to medication she took.

Speaking to charity Endometriosis Awareness North, self-confessed “fighter” Claire revealed that until she reached her 40’s, she had never even heard of the condition that had so disrupted her life.

“We are so humbled that Claire has come forward to share her experiences of endometriosis,” said Endometriosis Awareness North founder, Dr Anita Sharma, “whilst the long wait for diagnosis, the depression she suffered and the way she was so often disbelieved were familiar, her stroke complications and the fact that she has had treatment in her 40s was fairly new to us.”

Claire recently had serious surgery to remove the adhesions to organs that are typical of endometriosis. Her symptoms actually began in her teens and at one stage her menstrual bleeding was so severe she used 29 tampons per day. After a final misdiagnosis that her condition was the early stages of the menopause, her treatment came courtesy of one of Endometriosis Awareness North’s founding members Gaity Ahmad, a Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician with a special interest in pelvic pain and endometriosis.

Claire said: “All of my life I have heard it just described as a bad period and a normal part of life, but it was my GP Dr Dench and then Ms Ahmad who listened to me.

“I was even told that once I had my daughter Katie at 21, my symptoms would get better – and that was a lie! Thank goodness I have had the support of my headteacher and a few others. They have made the difference.”

Held in the presence of Rochdale’s Mayor Councillor Mike Holly, the coffee morning at Norden Bowling Club gave so-called “Endo Warriors” and their families the opportunity to discuss somehow living through a condition which one described as: “Like cancer. It eats away at your body but because you cannot die of it, nobody wants to know.”

Claire’s mum Yvonne concluded: “Endometriosis has stopped her from doing so much, social events, and just everyday things. It also changed her as a person. This is a real condition and people like Claire should not be ignored and simply told, 'we know you are poorly, get on with it'.”

If you would like to no more about endometriosis, its symptoms and where you can find treatment and support, visit www.endometriosisawarenessnorth.com

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing news@rochdaleonline.co.uk
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email news@rochdaleonline.co.uk or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online