Join us on 10 September in celebrating Women's Gynaecological and Sexual Health
To register your event click here.
The International GYN Awareness Day is all about empowering people to lift the veil on gynaecological issues by celebrating the beauty that is a woman’s feminity.
This day is the brainchild of Kath Mazzella OAM, a courageous vulval cancer survivor who has turned her pain into GAIN and is working hard to ensure that women have the support and the voice they need to cope with GYN conditions.
Kath’s vision is to see the day celebrated around the globe, bringing “below the belt” issues out into an open forum that women and men everywhere may be healed, supported and uplifted.
More about Kath here.
To join Kath and find out more about how you can host an even in your local area, download our kit now. IGAD Flier & Kit
Please view our partner’s stories in our blog and join with us in celebrating IGAD on 10 Sept.
“We have letters of support from medical practitioners and women’s groups from around the globe. Please help us to spread the message. It’s not that hard. You can simply host a morning tea in your area and invite some doctors, nurses, and the men and women in your community. This day is all about celebrating the beautiful gift of a woman’s body, of her femininity, as well as helping to create an awareness of Gynaecological and Sexual Health issues. If you do host an event, please let me know by registering your event with us. We’d also love to receive some photos and feedback about your event.” – Kath Mazzella OAM
Support letters below: International Gynaecological Awareness Day (IGAD) 10 September
1. Harvard Medical School – Elizabeth G. Stewart, MD Dir. Medical Assoc. Asst Prof Obst/Gyn – USA
2. Australian Minister for Health & Ageing (2007) Hon Tony Abbott MP
3. Dr Christiane Northrup – USA www.DrNorthrup.com
4. International Gynecologic Cancer Society – Prof. M Quinn www.igcs.org
5. USA Our Bodies Ourselves – Boston USA www.ourbodiesourselves.org
6. Betty Dodson Author/Sexologist USA [email@example.com]
7. Beverly Whipple, PhD, USA RN, FAAN, Secretary Gen. of WAS www.worldsexualhealth.org
8. International Council of Women – Dr A Tan firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Health Consumers Council – W Australia www.hcc-wa.global.net.au
10. Vulvodynia Association USA Lauren Kunis VULVODYNIASUPPORT.COM
11. Western Australian Sexology Society www.wass.org.au
12. Seahorse Media – Joanna Hall NSW www.seahorsemedia.com.au
13. Vaginismus Support Network – Lily www.vaginismus-awareness-network.org
14. Polkodot PR Media – Dionne Moscow NSW www.polkadotpr.com.au
15. Quest for Life Cancer Retreat Petrea King – Aust www.questforlife.com.au
16. Zonta International – Perth Club www.zontaperth.org.au
17. Cancer Council Victoria www.cancervic.org.au
18. DES Action Group (diethystibestrol) Australia & USA www.desaction.org
19. Cancer Voices NSW – Sally Crossings www.cancervoices.org.au/
20. Family Planning West Australia FPWA www.fpwa.org.au
21. Australian Federation of University Women – J Strauss, Pres www.afuw.org.au/
22. Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obsts/Gyns www.ranzcog.edu.au
23. Australian Women’s Health Network www.awhn.org.au/
24. New South Wales Cancer Council – Sydney Australia www.cancercouncil.com.au/
25. PantsMatters-Health Consumers Group www.pantsmatters.org.uk/
26. Pelvic Pain Support Network – United Kingdom www.pelvicpain.org.uk
27. National Council of Women UK Hon Sec Health Committee www.ncwgb.org
28. Virginia Braun, PhD,- The University of Auckland http://www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/
Note: Gyn word has been abbreviated = Gyn – Gynaecology/Gynecology
Virginia Braun, PhD – University of Auckland – Aug 2010 – Dear Kath, – please keep me posted on IGAD progress!,…! To whom it may concern, I am writing to express my support for Kath Mazzella & GAIN’s work to establish an International GYN Awareness Day. Women’s genitalia & reproductive systems continue to be a source of uncertainty, shame, & distress, & remain difficult & taboo subjects, for many women, & teenage girls. Such lack of knowledge, distress & anxiety are not associated with positive health & well-being outcomes. i.e., it seems that increasing numbers of women are seeking genital cosmetic surgery, because they feel their perfectly normal vulva is abnormal – surgeries which have been questioned & challenged from OB/GYN organisations internationally. Yet their increased uptakes by women speaks to problem that is perceived to be a very real one for some women. Anxiety about the genitalia has also been associated with poorer sexual health outcomes. These examples point to the very important need to promote public awareness about Gyn issues & women’s genital & reproductive systems more generally. I fully endorse this campaign for an IGAD! Good luck, Best wishes Ginny
Elizabeth G. Stewart, MD Harvard Medical School, Associate Prof. Obstetrics/Gyn Director. US Vulvovaginal Service, Harvard Vanguard Medical Assoc., 07 To whom it may concern: I write in support for an effort organized by Kath Mazzella to establish an (IGAD) annually in the effort to raise the profile for more research & dissemination of knowledge about the lower genital tract. With all the current focus on Women’s Health there is omission of any effort to promote awareness of the lower genital tract & pathology involving it that causes morbidity and sexual dysfunction for millions of women throughout the world. I wrote The V Book (Bantam 2002) in an effort to begin this awareness. I specialize full time in diseases of the lower genital tract, seeing women from all over the country who cannot find the proper care for infection, genital dermatoses and pain. I have been part of the first epidemiologic study of genital pain funded by the National Institutes of Health in which we have shown that 16% of women in the USA suffer from lower genital pain lasting three months or longer. These women have seen five clinicians without obtaining a diagnosis. (Harlow B, Stewart EG.) A population-based assessment of chronic unexplained vulvar pain: have we underestimated the prevalence of vulvodynia? J Am Med Women’s Assoc 2003; 58:82. Gynecologic awareness must move forward.
2. Australian Government – Department of Health and Ageing Michael Fisher A/g Assistant Secretary Chronic Disease & Palliative Care Branch 10 Oct 2007 Thank you for your email of 21st September 2007 to the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, concerning gynaecological cancer. The Minister has asked me to reply on his behalf. The time and effort you have invested in rasing awareness and advocacy for an (IGAD) is to be commended. As you are aware the Australian Government provided $1 million in seed funding to establish the National Centre for Gyn Cancers this year, which operates under the auspices of Cancer Australia. The Centre provides education and increase awareness amongst medical and allied health professionals about gyn cancers. A Gyn cancers working group meet for the first time on 5 June 2007. Their role is to consider the functions and governance of the Centre and also advise on a consultative strategy. It is a multidisciplinary group consisting of individuals who will represent the continuum of care in gyn cancers including prevention, screening, clinical trials, allied health oncology and consumers. Gyn cancer is an important issue for women & in recognition of this, the Government has awarded more than $44 million since 2000 through National Health & Medical Research Centre for research into gyn cancers. Furthermore the Government has committed funding for a human papillomavirus vaccination program to prevent cervical cancer which commenced this year. The vaccine, GARDISIL, is funded under the National Immunisation Program on an ongoing basis of 12-13 year old girls to be delivered through schools. The Government will also fund a two year catch-up programme for 13–18 year old girls in schools & 18–21 year old women to be delivered through general practice & community based programs. I wish you well with your endeavour to establish an (IGAD),
3. Christiane Northrup, MD USA www.DrNorthrup.com Dear Kath, first step in healing women’s bodies is naming out loud the suffering of so many. Millions of women with GYN cancers and lower genital tract dis-ease feel too embarrassed and ashamed to get proper treatment. (IGAD) will shine a light on this situation, allowing healing to begin. I fully support your efforts.
4. International Gynecology Cancer Society USA – Prof Michael A. Quinn, MD Dear Kath, The International Gyn Cancer Society is a non-profit, international organization working toward the prevention and treatment of Gyn cancer and toward improving the quality of life of women suffering from gyn cancer throughout the world. It has over 1,500 members in more than 75 countries and is involved in educational efforts around the globe. The IGCS is pleased to recognize the time and effort you have invested in your work to raise awareness of gyn cancer. We support the concept of an (IGAD) without reservation. Yours truly,
5. Our Bodies Our Selves, Boston – USA www.ourbodiesourselves.org J Norsigian Exect. Director Dear Kath, Thanks for the years of dedicated service to the cause of raising awareness of Gyn Cancers. We are in support of your project to develop an annual (IGAD) September 10 & look forward to helping you spread the word.
6. Betty Dodson Online – USA PhD Sexologist/Author NYork Dear Kath, I totally support your efforts for (IGAD) to take place every year – September 10. The world must address the need for more research and a better understanding of the female genitals, not just doctors, scientists, researchers, therapists and sexologists, but for all women and men. As a sexologist teaching women sexual skills to demystify orgasm for the past four decades, I can say from experience that the need for more awareness is great. Kath, you and I need to continue our work so Sexual Pleasure/Vulva Pride can be passed onto all of our young women/men in the future. Let’s keep up the good work.
7. Beverly Whipple, PhD, B Whipple@pics.com USA RN, FAAN, Prof. Emerita, Rutgers University, Secretary General, World Assoc. for Sexual Health (WAS) (2005-09), Past-prest, Society Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) Past-pret, American Assoc. of Sex Educators, Counselos & Therapists (AASECT) Past-Director, Intern Soc Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
Dear Ms Mazzella: It was delightful to meet you in Sydney at the World Congress of Sexual Health and again in Perth, Australia in April 2007. As an educator and researcher who has conducted and published over 160 studies in peer reviewed journals and book chapters as well as co-authored 6 books on women’s health issues and women’s sexual health (one of which was an international best-seller and published in 19 languages), I would like to lend my support your initiative to have 10 September as an (IGAD). I am currently on the former US Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher’s National Advisory Council concerned with the promotion of sexual health and am a consultant to the National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC) on their initiative “What’s going on down there.” In 2007 the NWHRC focused on women’s pelvic health issues and in 2008 we are going to focus on quality of life/sexual health issues for women with pelvic health problems.
As the former Vice-president and current Secretary General of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS), I would like to make you aware of the WAS Declaration of Sexual Rights and the Declaration & Technical Document, “Sexual Health for the Millennium,” developed by WAS in conjunction with other international health organizations. I have also worked with WHO on their definitions of sex, sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights. Women have been silent for too long about their pelvic health problems and concerns. They need to know more about options available to them & some of the sexual health problems that can develop in response to some of the treatments that have been used. Your IGAD initiative will help women to learn more about their bodies and not accept treatments that do not promote sexual health. Co-author: The Science of Orgasm (06), Johns Hopkins University Press, The G spot & other Discoveries about Human Sexuality (2005) Holt Owl books Outwitting Osteoporosis (03) BeyondWords, Smart Women, Strong Bones (2000) Lifestyles 4 Heart press Safe Encounters: How Women can say Yes to Pleasure & No to unsafe sex (1989) McGraw Hill, The G spot/ other Recent Discoveries about Human Sexuality (1982) Holt, Rinehart & Winston, (1983) Dell
8. The International Council of Women Dr Anamah Tan email@example.com The International Council of Women has watched your progress with interest, giving its support as needed, in making governments/community as a whole aware of gyn cancers. You are to be commended for your persistence and professional manner in which you have gone about the task. You have made great progress but there is still much to be done, not only in educating women in gyn health, but in advocating for ongoing research into the causes, prevention and treatment of gyn cancers. The creation of an (IGAD) will do much to further education and promote ongoing research. It is with much pleasure that the International Council of Women gives support to the creation of a much-needed IGAD 10 September.
9. Health Consumers Council WA Inc. www.hcc-wa.global.net.au Michele Kosky: Dear Kath, Health Consumers Council is an independents community based organisation representing the consumer’s voice in health policy, planning research & service delivery. The Council provides an advocacy service for health consumers experience difficulties s in the health system. Our staff are not medically or legally trained, but experienced in consumer rights, knowledge of the health system & consumer responsibilities. The Council recognised the enormous effort you have put into raising awareness of Gyn Cancer over the past 14 years. We strongly support the project to develop an annual (IGAD) 10 September 2007 & look forward to promoting the day to our members. Regards,
Vulvodynia Support Lauren Kunis, Founder USA VULVODYNIASUPPORT.COM New York
Dear Kath, Vulvodyniasupport.com is honored to recognize the time and effort you have invested in raising awareness of gynecologic disorders. Vulvodyniasupport.com receives no less than 10,000 unique visitors a year. The nature of the Internet helps connect a worldwide community of women who would otherwise suffer in silence due to cultural stigmas surrounding the discussion or lack thereof of our vaginas and genitals even in the most progressive and developed nations. While it has finally become ok to openly talk about cancer in our breasts, talking about vaginal disorders such as Vulvodynia is still sadly a taboo subject, whether self-imposed or culturally demanded.. You are truly a sister in the fight to encourage women to talk to their husbands, friends, and medical practitioners openly. I fully support the concept of (IGAD).
11. WA Sexology Society WASS – Hugh Collin President www.wass.org.au Dear Kath, The Western Australian Sexology Society (WASS) welcomes the opportunity to provide this letter of support in your crusade to establish (IGAD). Your unstinting work to raise health consumer, health professional & general community’s awareness of the importance of disseminating accurate information on, & discussion about, female genital health is to be applauded. It is through your efforts to encourage people to talk about the vulva and the distinction between vulva & vagina that we encourage others to make informed decisions & save lives and well as to avoid the torment and suffering of those who are ill informed.
We should all know what women’s normal physiology for vulva looks like just as we are aware of tother skins lessons. We should also help those who have suffered unknowingly be engaging in an informed discourse. WASS board will promote (IGAD) on our website & with your help post suggestions as to how this may be achieved. We will also look at identifying links to vulval education on our website. Viva la Vulva & (IGAD)!
12. Seahorse Media- Joanna Hall – Australia 2007 Dear Kath, I am writing this letter to support your incentive to transform National Gyn Awareness Day into an international event. Since our paths first crossed some five years ago, I have been a staunch supporter of your efforts to educate women in the community about the importance of maintaining Gyn health.
Your personal story is both an inspiration and a warning to all of us, and is vital to both sexes that we are well informed and aware of what can go wrong with the most intimate area of our bodies – the very heart and soul of our femininity. Your bravery, passion and unwavering strength have taken the awareness day from a concept to an annual, national event in Australia. But I believe that your efforts and wisdom should ultimately benefit all women across the globe – by means of an (IGAD). After all, it’s not just Australians who are at risk from Gyn illness. Every woman on our planet is. As a member of the media and a health writer, it continues to sadden me that so many people, especially of power within our greater community, remain ill or uninformed, or don’t believe that the subject of Gyn health is one of great importance to everyone. It is also a concern to me that some of these people of power are actually women. It’s all too easy to stick your head in the sand & believe that many of the Gyn problems women can face – endometriosis, infertility and cancer – won’t happen to you. But Kath, as you know from first-hand experience, unpleasant and life-threatening conditions can literally arrive out of the blue – & have devastating consequences. We may never see the day when cancer, or many of the other Gyn problems are completely banished. But with education and awareness – something about which I am also passionate as a health writer – we can do something constructive to reduce the unnecessary suffering of women & their families in the meantime. I commend your efforts, & your unbending strength – especially given what you have been through in the past decade – I wholeheartedly stand by your call for an (IGAD). best wishes, – Healt/Wellbeing/Beaut/Lifestyle/ Travel-Journalist/Editor
13. Vaginismus Awareness Network – Non-profit Vaginismus website Lily B. Ex-sufferer, Founder, Master’s Degree, Postgraduate Diploma Women’s Health Melbourne University Aust. – Dear Kath & anyone willing to take vaginas/vulvas out of the reproductive/sexual realms & give them the medical, educational & dignified attention they deserve as body parts which keep existing even when they cannot have intercourse or cannot make babies. Similarly to Vulvar cancers, Vaginismus too is an overlooked, little known condition (not a dysfunction) making it impossible/very painful for women to insert something (a penis/speculum/tampons) into their vagina.
Often that is due to the contractions of the PC muscles, which in many cases are contracting out of fear of pain or past traumatic experiences or myths re. sex or sexuality, many times simply out of lack of good information about the vulva, the hymen in particular. Like thousands of young women we lived in shame and kept silence about our emotional or physical suffering, because we did not have the vocabulary to talk about what we were experiencing, (often not even doctors are knowledgeable about it) but most of all because of the silence that surrounds vulvas in society, as soon as they experience something which is neither sexual nor reproductive. Something like pain inserting a tampon, something like a cancer. That’s why I put together this non-profit site with the help of great women who suffered from vaginismus and that’s why we totally support a (IGAD) & any work done to raise awareness on vulvas, without reservations. Lily
14. Polkadot PR NSW Aust. www.polkadotpr.com.au Dionne Moskow, Dear Kath, I am writing this letter to show my support for the work you have done with the Gyn Awareness Information Network (GAIN Inc.) & raising awareness for (IGAD). Kath was introduce to me in 2006 when I was approached by Chair of GAIN to increase the profile of charity through publicity & most to publicise the (IGAD).
Our efforts resulted in wide-spread publicity in a number of glossy women’s magazines reaching a total audience of 8,500,000 people nationally. This resulted in an increase in the awareness of gyn conditions and also raided the number of members of GAIN. Kath, I have been inspired by your bravery. You have an unwavering strength and enthusiasm to spread the word about Gyn maters and use your personal story to educate others about the dangers related to gyn conditions. I have not doubt that other people who have come to know you professional and personally would agree. You have already touched the lives of so many Australians.
Gyn conditions are a worldwide matter, I believe that the (IGAD) should be an International event so that every woman in the world no longer shies way from discussing/addressing gyn matters. I wholeheartedly support your initiative to make it an Internationally recognised day. Wishes,
15. Petrea King – Quest for Life Centre NSW Australia www.questforlife.com.au Dear Kath, I have long been a great admirer of your work in raising the awareness of both the general community/health professionals about the particular issues faced by women with Gyn Cancers. The Quest for Life Foundation support the concept of an (IGAD) without reservation and wishes you every success in bringing these important issues to a greater audience. Regards.
16. Zonta International Perth Club www.zontaperth.org.au West Australia – Status of Women 2007, Dear Kath, Thank you for your many years of service to the cause of raising awareness about Gyn Cancers. Having recognised as Zonta Woman of Achievement (WA) in 2005 for your dedicated commitment, we commend you for continuing to promote this cause. Zonta Club of Perth is proud to support your concept to inaugurate an annual (IGAD) in September and look forward to helping you spread the word. Sincerely,
17. The Cancer Council – Melbourne – Victoria, Australia Dr. Amanda Hordern Deputy Director Cancer Information & Support Service, firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Kath, I write on behalf of myself and Doreen Akkerman, Director Cancer Information & Support Service at Cancer Council Victoria, to thank you for raising the profile of Gyn cancers at a national & international level. Meeting with you personally, & tapping into the web site & newsletters developed by GAIN, has assisted us in gaining a greater understanding of the stigma, isolation, uncertainty & vulnerability of many women affected by Gyn cancer. Doreen & I have actively embraced the need to develop resources, access evidence based information & offer a range of support options for women who have experienced Gyn cancer & pre- cancerous changes. In particular, we run workshops for people affected by cancer & health professionals caring for them, on issues of intimacy/sexuality after cancer. We are currently focusing on communication skills training for patients/health professionals around the topic of cancer/sexuality. All of these initiatives relate to women with Gyn cancers. We endorse the need for an (IGAD) – & envisage this will be a powerful way to raise awareness within the general community as well as in health care spheres about reducing risks, early detection & prevention of Gyn cancers. We wish you well in your endeavours to make (IGAD) – a reality!
18. DES Action International: Kari Christianson, Prog. Dir. USA www.desaction.org Carol Devine, Coord. – Australia NSW c_ email@example.com The DES Action International organization enthusiastically supports the concept of an annual (IGAD). DES Action was founded in 1978 in the USA as an education organization for DES (diethylstilbestrol) – exposed people and has steadily grown to encompass affiliate groups in the USA, Australian Canada, England, France, Ireland and Netherlands. Gyn issues in the context of DES exposure are a main concern of our organization. DES was an anti-miscarriage drug given to pregnant women from 1938 to 1971 (and sometimes beyond) in many countries of the world. It is know known that those women given DES, their children of those pregnancies are at higher risk of certain types of cancer/reproductive problems. Women who were given (DES Mothers) during pregnancy are at high risk for breast cancer. Gyn health problems for DES Daughters include clear cell adenocarcinoma of Vagina/Cervix, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, premature delivery, structural abnormalities of reproductive organs and breast cancer. Special health care screening is required for DES exposure. (Men exposed to utero to DES also may experience health concerns.)
In its peak time of usage DES was termed a ‘wonder drug” and prescribed to an estimated 5 million U.S. women and hundreds of thousands more throughout the world. International responses to this public health issue have varied and always require improvement. A great many women today are still unaware of their exposure to DES. A symposium report in 1993 reported that DES usage in pregnancy is continuing in third world countries. As an example of an unnecessary medial tragedy, the DES saga serves as a precautionary alert for women regrading pharmaceutical interventions during pregnancy and, indeed, in all Gyn health. AS frequency expressed concern by DES-exposed women is the immediate need for improved communication with health car providers to allow grater openness and honesty on the subject to DES health effects. DES Action embraces the principle of an annual (IGAD) for its potential to assist many DES – exposed women address their specific health care needs and make informed decisions with open and honest communication. DES Action learned of this Awareness Day from our Affiliate Group, DES Action Group-Australia NSW, who also wholeheartedly supports this concept. Much praise is due to Kath Mazzella in Australia for this long overdue and great initiative. Sincerely,.
19. Cancer Voices New South Wales Australia Dear Kath, is delighted to support you & your project (IGAD) September 2008. Cancer Voices NSW is the peak coalition for cancer support/advocacy groups in NSW. It provides the independent voice of people affected by cancer, working to improve the cancer experience. Estab. 2000, we are interested in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, information, treatment, research, support/care. Yours is a very worthwhile cause, one you have never stinted from & 1 which has already helped many women. We will make sure notices appear in our newsletters & will advise other cancer organisations. Best wishes and good luck! Sally Crossing AM, Chair, Cancer Voices Sydney NSW
20. FPWA Sexual Health Services Perth Western Australia Dr Angela Cooney Medical Director Dear Kath, I and clinical staff at FPWA Sexual Health Services support you in your efforts to obtain recognition for a (IGAD). Our clinicians are very aware of the need to promote women’s genital health, we applaud your efforts to remove the taboo on discussion of female genitalia in the community. All the best in your endeavours,
21. Australian Federation of University Women Jennifer Strauss, President, AFUW, Dear Kath Mazzella: Your message to Lynda Roberts-Hall was forwarded to me as the National President of Australian Federation of University Women. I have consulted Council members and am happy to report that you may list AFUW as endorsing your project of an annual (IGAD) to raise the profile of Gyn/Sexual health issues. We wish you well in your attempt to obtain UN support,
22. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Hi Kath, It was a pleasure speaking with you on Friday afternoon & about the amazing work you have been doing. I have just looked into the opportunity for you to speak at the College’s Annual Scientific Meetings & at this stage unfortunately all our programs have been finalised. I do however have some good news! Following from my meeting with the President this week, Dr Christine Tippett, it has been decided that the College would promote the (IGAD) in the College’s online newsletter, College ConneXion. This is circulated to our Members & Fellows of the College across Australia & New Zealand. Again, it was lovely speaking with you Kath & the College does wish you all the very best in your achievements. I hope you enjoy the UK! Kindest regards, Julia Marketing, Media and Communications Senior Coordinator, www.ranzcog.edu.au
23. Australian Women’s Health Network AWHN is thankful for the sustained & dedicated work being done by Kath Mazzella to establish 10 September each year as (IGAD). The main aim of staging IGAD is to break down the cultural barriers surrounding “unmentionable” female body parts, such as labias/vulvas/vaginas.
IGAD would disseminate information to women around the globe about Gyn cancers and would raise general public awareness of these serious health issues, which receive very little publicity outside specialised medical circles. Increased support for an extended research effort would result from wider information and a higher profile for gynaecological cancers. AWHN is a community based, non-profit, consultative organisation that provides a national voice on women’s health issues. Its main aims are to maintain and increase a national focus on women’s health issues, to be a national advocacy & information sharing organisation & to be an umbrella organisation for State/Territory women’s health networks and for other national women’s organisations, which embrace our objects & philosophy. IGAD project thus fits squarely within the objectives of our organisation. Even within the culture of “modern liberated” Western countries, diseases of the lower genital tract are rarely discussed & women suffering from them often feel embarrassed and ashamed. The situation is worse in some more traditional societies. As well as increasing the suffering of women who develop these diseases, ignorance & lack of reliable information are real barriers to prevention, early detection & treatment. AWHN will support efforts to establish IGAD wherever possible. Dr Gwen Gray, PhD Deputy Convenor __________________________________________________________________________________________
Cancer Council NSW, Australia Dr Kendra Sundquist, Manager Supportive Care Development, Dear Kath, I have admired your efforts over many years to successfully establish & develop (GAIN Inc.). Your work has done so much to raise awareness of the physical & psychological impact of Gyn cancers & their treatments. You have been a staunch advocate for all women with gyn cancers, & fearless in your determination to challenge those attitudes & values that have a negative effect on women’s sense of wellbeing, their perceptions of their bodies, & their recovery from this disease. I thank you for your willingness over the years to provide valuable input into our many Gyn cancer consumer publications, particularly “Cancer of the Vulva” & Vagina”, as well as our “Sexuality, Body Image & Cancer” training resource for health professionals. On behalf of the Cancer Council NSW, I fully endorse the need for an IGAD, I am sure that this will not only raise awareness of the burden of Gyn cancer, but also reduce the stigma associated with this disease, & improve health outcomes for women. I wish you every success. Warm regards,
PANTS MATTERS: Jeanette & Cornwall Hospital UK Celebrates IGAD: Sept 10 “Jeannette” Cornwall UK Fri May 30, 2008 It was lovely to see that Kath had good response for support. There is so much happening here in Cornwall now on that day & just by way of fun I have invited all the Mayors in Cornwall to come together on that day as a kind of Guinness Book of Records-though it is not official as I have not yet had a response from them…but even without, it will go ahead.
I did not know when planning a day of events including an educational day here in Falmouth when I have some most amazing guest speakers including 2 gyn cancer surgeons, a hypnotherapist, a Dr from pain clinic at the local hospital, & Dr undertaking pioneering work in vulval cancer treatment with laser therapy-& many supportive activities such as art/music/laughter/hypno/reiki/yoga therapy/makeovers with photos, special volunteers who make wig/hair decorations with women post chemotherapy…pause for breath.. that it was to be the start of Tall ships that day as well-so Falmouth will be bustling I am so excited about it all & do you know what-it hasn’t taken a lot of effort.
Booking the hotel was the first step, then emailing lots of people & waiting for their response…so how about having a day in every part of the US wouldn’t that be great! ~& all over the world…even greater! I pestered people while on holiday & think they are going to do something in Corfu! good hey! I get pushier as every day passes. Good thing about cancer-it makes me realise I cannot waste time..I may not be here for ever..I have so much to do. Never forgetting Kath & her amazing work re IGAD – what a woman… I bet before she had cancer she hadn’t even spoken in public & now look at her. love to you hugs & every blessing Jeannette P UK endo ca 1 year on & having a ball!
Pelvic Pain Support Network – www.pelvicpain.org.uk Dear Kath, Thank you for your e-mail re IGAD We would be very pleased to support this initiative. I am frequently at the RCOG as well as contributing to clinical guidelines in many areas of Gyn. I also do presentations as a patient advocate & for Pelvic Pain Support Network at many medical meetings, congresses and in parliament. (this week I spoke at the House of Commons on the subject of Patient Safety – Safer Surgery. This campaign is part of WHO Alliance for patient safety – safer surgery which launches this month in Washington – PP presentation will be on our website – it was a very interesting meeting)
National Council of Women United Kingdom. – I know that the Health Committee of NCWGB will be glad to add their name in support of your campaign – good luck! Dr Maureen Beauchamp
Contact the Gynae Day team.
Founder of the International GYN Awareness Day celebrations, Kath has received the WA Senior of the Year 2012 Award for her work in GYN Awareness promotion. In accepting the award, Kath used the opportunity to promote the International GYN Awareness Day and to call on those present to get behind the event and support better [...]
Kath has been featured on the cover of online magazine, Golden Pen in order to promote the International GYN Awareness Day. The issue was released on IGAD to coincide with the day. Here is sneak peak… The magazine is available from http://goldenpen.com.au/buy-online or from http:/facebook.com/GoldenPenMagazine (click on STORE) and only costs $4.95. Please support [...]
Here are the pics from our event at King Edward Memorial Hospital. Was a great time of solidarity. Thanks to all those that made the journey to the hospital. Your support was greatly appreciated. Hoping to have an even bigger event in 2013. More to come soon…