After years of painful periods, days spent in bed and hours spent crying about the pain to her Mum, Harriet Watson (22) finally called up the Endometriosis New Zealand (ENZ) helpline ‘Endo Help’ in 2019. Not too long after receiving helpful information and support from ENZ, she had diagnostic surgery. Whilst this hasn’t fixed things completely, she’s able to manage the condition and lead a fulfilling and very active life.
“I have always been an active type, and having endo has allowed me to develop the skills to push through the pain - and almost to thrive in the pain”
To give back to the ENZ charity, and to challenge herself, in 2020 Harriet set herself the goal of kayaking 100km in one day to raise funds. Now, she has set herself an even bigger challenge. In 2020, she just had to put one paddle in front of the other for one day.
Harriet is setting out on an audacious mission which will see her cover the distance from Auckland to Wellington on foot and bike.
“I will put one foot in front of the other, not just for one day... but for eight consecutive days. This project scares the living daylights out of me, but that is exactly what motivates me. I want other sufferers to receive support from ENZ and have an Endo Help appointment like I did. These appointments offer a safe environment for people to get information, advice and support. Appointments are private and it was so helpful for me to talk to someone who ‘gets it’.
ENZ website shows 1 in 10 woman are affected by endometriosis and the average time taken to diagnose is around 9 years! “I was fortunate to be diagnosed after only a few years. I don’t want women to have to wait 9 years – my mission is about raising awareness and encouraging sufferers to seek advice even if they’ve never heard of endometriosis.
Starting at Farewell Spit on 2nd December, run 20km then bike to the Heaphy Track.
Next day, run the Heaphy (85km) then another bike day to get the start of the Old Ghost Road.
Run the Old Ghost Road (84km) then bike to Punakaiki ready to run the Paparoa Track (another Great Walk)
Then bike to Greymouth to take on the 133km West Coast Wilderness Trail.
That’s over 650km in just over a week! - Follow her run live here
“I’m looking forward to finishing this on my 23rd birthday, raising some funds, but more importantly, raising awareness”
We’d love you to donate a little to ENZ via their Raisely page, or visit the ENZ page to check out some of the resources and ideas they have to help those suffering from this condition.