Jamaican women suffering from the disease endometriosis will finally be able to find support in dealing with the disease thanks to the Shauna Fuller-Clarke's B.A.S.E (Better Awareness and Support for Endometriosis) Foundation.
The foundation was launched on Wednesday at King's House, with a mission to provide information and support to women and promote research in the medical field. It also aims to create better awareness of this disease among "the general public, women and the medical profession".
Endometriosis is a condition in which cells, like the ones found in the lining of the womb, are found elsewhere in a woman's body. Some 176 million women world-wide are believed to be affected by the disease for which there is no known cure.
The B.A.S.E Foundation is the brainchild of Fuller-Clarke, a victim of stage-four endometriosis. Addressing the launch on Wednesday, Fuller-Clarke told the gathering that it was her struggle with the disease and the difficulty in finding support that motivated her to start the foundation.
"When I was diagnosed, I longed for that kind of support. With this kind of association lacking in Jamaica, I sought support elsewhere and became very active in the online community where I have met many women across the world who have what I have."
Her friends online gave her strength, she said, but "I felt the need to connect with my Jamaican 'endo' sisters to lend the invaluable support to them as I had received".
Addressing the launch also, director of the Hugh Wynter Fertility Management Unit, Professor Joseph Frederick, expressed happiness that the foundation would lend support to the population at large, especially considering that there was still no known cure for the disease.
"If we are to succeed, it must be through a multidisciplinary approach to include medical, political, social, legal, IT (information technology) personnel, and, above all, the affected patients who best can tell their story," professor Frederick said.
See Fuller-Clarke's full story in Sunday's Outlook.