Georgie Wileman has known the pain and suffering that comes with an endometriosis diagnosis since she was 13 years old. Now, as a professional photographer, she decided to shine some light on the disease. Endometriosis is a painful condition resulting in the growth of tissue similar to endometrial tissue outside the uterus It can cause extreme pelvic discomfort and typically requires multiple surgeries. After posting a photo of her scars in honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month in the beginning of March, she invited others to share photos of their battle marks, and her project — titled "This Is Endometriosis" — quickly began to pick up speed.
"I always knew I needed to document what was happening to me," she told POPSUGAR. "Work like this on endometriosis hadn't been shown, and it needed to be. It is so important to see yourself reflected, and for this disease, there wasn't a place to see that. I have been sick since I was 13; in and out of hospital beds and wheelchairs due to pain. Being a photographer, I have always seen a sad beauty in the world that surrounded me. I saw it all in pictures, and I needed to take them."
"Work like this on endometriosis hadn't been shown, and it needed to be. It is so important to see yourself reflected, and for this disease, there wasn't a place to see that."
Obviously, spreading awareness is the main goal for Georgie, especially when it comes to the invasive and painful procedures individuals with endometriosis have to go through.
"The most important message I hope to spread with this series is the difference between the surgeries performed for endometriosis. We have been dating our scars with the years they were opened, and connecting them with a line, marking out years of mistreatment and pain," explained Georgie. "Currently, the standard operation for endometriosis is to burn off the lesions of disease, a procedure that doesn't fully remove the endometriosis, and only causes further scarring."
She added that: "Excision surgery with an endometriosis specialist is currently the best treatment we have, yet it is not available on most insurance plans in the US, or healthcare services around the world. Leaving only those privileged enough to afford it, or go into debt for it, to have a chance at a better quality of life."
Scroll through to get a peek at snippets of Georgie's powerful series.