Michelle Johnson (She/Her/Hers)
Chronic Conditions: Endometriosis, Adenomyosis
I started my period at 11 years old. Having complications from the onset, I wasn't diagnosed with Endometriosis until I was 32; adenomyosis at 33. After being diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis and navigating unchartered territory where there are no real answers, I founded the Fighting Fiercely© Endometriosis Awareness movement, after which I authored Fighting Fiercely: Unveiling the Unknown about Endometriosis; a resource designed to help Endo patients and their loved ones make sense of their diagnosis and learn to self-advocate for the best methods of treatment and care. If I'd had access to such information when I was younger, I would not have had to suffer as long as I did. No one should have to wait 23 years for an accurate diagnosis. As an accomplished author, speaker, and passionate Endometriosis awareness advocate, I have dedicated my life to educating, enlightening, and empowering sufferers, survivors, friends, and family who have all been affected by this disease.
Advocacy is important to me because so many people are overwhelmed with questions about their disease but are afraid to ask. So many live-in excruciating pain but wear plastered smiles while keeping quiet. So many suffer in silence; believing that they are alone and that no one else understands. By being an advocate, I can give a voice to these patients. I can speak for them when they cannot or aren’t comfortable speaking out for themselves. I can stand with them in affirming that they are not alone, they are not crazy and what they are experiencing is not ‘all in their head’.” I share my story because the next generation deserves better. We all deserve better.