A big problem for over 50% of women
Four years ago, Leigh discovered that she had a uterine fibroid. She had never heard of fibroids before, so she did some research. She was amazed at how many women have them – the doctors say that more than 50% of women do, whether we know it or not.
Leigh discovered the problems that large or multiple fibroids can cause for women. As she knows from her own experience, they badly affect our periods, as well as self-image, and can compress and damage organs, while also increasing the risk of blood clots.
A growing problem for Leigh
Leigh started to look at ways to get rid of this growth from her body. She talked to doctors in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as other women with fibroids.
She tried a new treatment to destroy the fibroid with high intensity ultrasound waves, but it did not work for her and the fibroid kept on growing. It is now as big as a pumpkin and she desperately needs surgery. Have a look at her recent MRI scan image to see how this thing has grown and taken over her body. It is pressing up against her organs and will not stop.
The only option in Australia
Leigh has been told over and over by Australian doctors that the only treatment for a fibroid this big is to remove her uterus. The doctors want to remove her uterus and possibly one ovary, as well as healthy organs such as her cervix and fallopian tubes. Leigh is still a young woman with much life in front of her. Having talked to many women who had their uterus removed, she knows that this operation affects their whole lives, their feelings, and can bring on earlier menopause.
Why is this the only choice available for women? Leigh often wonders if a medical procedure that included the removal of a man’s reproductive organs would ever be considered as normal, and wants women to have a better standard of care.
Long road to getting help
Leigh found a surgeon in Los Angeles who has a great reputation for removing large fibroids, but not taking the uterus too. She is taking her life savings and planning to go to the US and have this surgery. It is a delicate technique that requires special skills and equipment.
Leigh can claim nothing back from Australian health funds or from Medicare because it is surgery overseas. But she has to take this last resort, because keeping her body intact is more important.
Please help Leigh to pay for this procedure. If a US surgeon can remove a fibroid this big and save Leigh’s uterus, it proves this would be a viable outcome for women with the same problem. It will cost Leigh thousands of dollars, but she is seeking $30,000 to cover some of the flight, accommodation, surgeon and hospital costs.
After her operation, Leigh will be making lots of noise about why Australian women are never made aware of this alternative. Her operation will have direct relevance to thousands of Australian women who, with better awareness of the options, will no longer have to make a choice between suffering with a fibroid or losing their uterus.