Lauren prepares to skydive for vital charity
SHE is often the smiling, public face of our diocesan office – but she can often be in extreme pain.
Lauren McDermott was on her honeymoon when she first felt the pain caused by endometriosis. She was diagnosed with the condition, which affects one woman in 10, once she returned home.
Now she hopes to raise awareness of this painful condition by bravely leaping out of a plane this September. The 24-year-old wants to raise money for the new charity Endometriosis South Coast via a sponsored skydive from 15,000 feet. And she’d love you to sponsor her.
Lauren, who goes to St Cuthbert’s Church, Copnor, has worked in our diocesan office for three years, and is currently PA to our Diocesan Secretary and Deputy Diocesan Secretary. During the pandemic, she’s often found herself hosting Zoom meetings for various diocesan bodies and recording the minutes.
She first experienced the excruciating pain in her back and pelvis, and the chronic fatigue, when she was on honeymoon with her husband Steve in 2018. The following year, she went through laparoscopic surgery that helped to confirm the diagnosis.
“It’s a condition that can cause cramps, back pain and fatigue,” she said. “It means that the kind of tissue that normally lines your womb also grows in other parts of your body. For most people it comes gradually, but for me it happened all of a sudden. Since 2018 there has been an almost constant level of pain.
“The surgery I had helped to diagnose the condition and meant that I could have some of that tissue removed, but it doesn’t stop it growing again. I didn’t actually know anything about the condition until I had it, which is shocking when you think it affects 1 in 10 women.
“The surgery in 2019 didn’t really give me any relief, so I’m now on a new treatment plan. They are hoping to place me in a temporary, chemically-induced menopause before further surgery.
“Endometriosis South Coast is a new charity that’s trying to raise awareness about the condition and support those who have it. Any donations that you give to me will help to support people and educate others about it.”
“If the charity hadn’t been there for me, I’m not sure what I would have done. It helps with tips about what to do and it’s been a lifesaver.
“As far as my Christian faith is concerned, it’s very easy to fall into the mentality of thinking ‘why me?’ and to turn away from church and prayer. But I find I’m getting better at accepting the daily challenges and using the knowledge and support I’ve had to help others.
“I’ve just become a trustee of the charity, and it does feel like a calling from God to help others. It’s part of my purpose to educate and raise awareness and to support others that are struggling. Already since going public, some women have told me they are going through something similar.”
Lauren will be skydiving, strapped to an instructor, on September 25th, alongside two others raising money for the charity – Beth Prescott and Jeanette Hughes. She’s pictured above wearing one of the charity’s sweatshirts, with the hashtag #ThisIsNotTheEndOfUs, which is being used to help raise awareness.
If you would like to sponsor Lauren, visit Lauren’s Skydive below.