Apr 25, 2014

Did you know that every 10 minutes 12 hysterectomies are performed in the U.S., and that by age 50, 70% of white women and 80% of black women are diagnosed with uterine fibroids? A large number of these women have no symptoms, but many women in their 30s and 40s do. Often times, these women suffer in silence with symptoms like: heavy bleeding, fatigue, problems conceiving, difficult pregnancies, anemia, frequent urination, painful sex, and back pain. Did you also know that fibroids cost the U.S. billions of dollars as a result of lost work days, treatments, and pregnancy complications? Billions. You'd think more research would be done to find preventative treatments to combat this issue, but there isn't.

The White Dress Project is fighting to change that, and in March, Georgia’s House of Representatives passed a resolution (HR 1898) declaring July “Fibroid Awareness Month”. Pretty awesome right? The newly-formed group is pushing bring awareness to the epidemic, and its name plays up the fact that women with fibroids often steer clear of light colored clothing during their menstrual cycle because of extremely heavy bleeding.

"No woman wants to look pregnant when she's not. Can you imagine what fibroids do to your self-esteem, on top of all the horrible symptoms that come with it?", says Tanika Gray-Valbrun, the pioneer behind The White Dress Project.

"More research has to be done. We can't keep saying 'this just happens'. There has to be preventative measures. Doctors need to be proactive rather than reactive."

Several events are being planned for the month of July by the organization, and they're gaining support on their Facebook page.

"People don't take this issue as seriously as they would take other illnesses because they don't associate it with death, but it IS associated with death. Countless women, including my own mother, suffer miscarriages because of fibroids. I am her only child who didn't die," says Gray-Valbrun.

For more information on the organization, you can visit their social media page https://www.facebook.com/WhiteDressProject?fref=nf or call (678) 763-1865 to set up an interview.
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