Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Womb Project

I have always been concerned about environmental and animal rights issues – I remember joining Greenpeace as teenager to help save the whales. I am also against discrimination of any sort and will stand up against human rights abuses and injustices of any kind.

Since being diagnosed with womb cancer just over 7 years ago and starting Womb Cancer Support UK almost 6 years ago I have become immersed in raising awareness of womb cancer and recently that has branched out to include various related gynaecological health issues like menopause issues, menstruation taboos, FGM, etc.

I see it as all being inter-related and therefore I think it’s important to try and raise as much awareness of all these issues as possible.

I came up with an idea one night, whilst trying to get to sleep, and the following morning The Womb Project began.

The idea is based loosely on The Uterus Flag Project that I came across a couple of years ago.

I want to use creative arts to raise awareness of the many gynaecological issues that are faced by women around the world.

The womb is what makes us women – it is the centre of who we are. It is where we come from and where future generations will come from.  In cultures around the world the womb is seen as sacred and is believed to have spiritual energy.

The Womb Project is still in its very early days and I’ll be totally honest with you that I have no real idea where it will go or even if anyone will join with me in raising awareness.

The initial idea is for women (and men if they want to be part of the project) to create a womb using any creative mode they feel drawn too. Knit or crochet a womb; carve one from wood; sculpt one in ceramics or make one out of papier mache; paint one; draw one – whatever media you want to use.

Many women have been affected by gynaecological health issues – endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS, gynae cancers, infertility, miscarriage etc so I want them to also share their story. Send in images of their womb as it is being created that will be shared initially on the FB page and then on a website that I will be setting up. Then when their womb is complete I will share images along with their story.

I believe with all my heart that we as women need to talk about these things. We need to share our stories and help empower each other. Together we are stronger and through The Womb Project I want to bring women together from around the world to talk to each other .

A big idea?  Yes it is and maybe it won’t work and no-one will participate but at least I will have tried to do something to highlight what is happening.

I have come across some wonderful organisations in recent months who are doing great work in raising awareness of women’s health issues and empowering women around the world. I would like to draw as many of them   together in one place and highlight the amazing work that is happening.

I shall be using the FB page (and later the website) to showcase these organisations and their work and hope that some of them will be part of The Womb Project too.

Please be part of TheWomb Project and help raise awareness. Join us on our FB page and get creative.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

February is Cholangiocarcinoma month.

Its that time of year again - February is cholangiocarcinoma month. Not sure what it is let alone how to say it?

Don't worry, you are not alone. Before 1st November 2013 I had no idea what it was and it took me a couple of weeks to learn how to say it.

It's actually bile duct cancer, a type of liver cancer. Quite rare with around 2,000 people diagnosed each year. sadly many are diagnosed at a late stage as its quite a difficult cancer to diagnose and can often be confused with other illnesses.

Cholangiocarcinoma is pronounced "kol-an-gee-oh-car-sin-oh-ma". and before 1st Nov.'13 I had never heard of it. That was the day that my Mom was diagnosed with it. She was stage 4 by then and although she was given 4-6 months she actually died 5 weeks later.
I turned to the internet as many of us do and found AMMF who are the UK's only cholangiocarcinoma charity. They were, and still are, a great source of support for me and helped me understand a lot more about this rare cancer.

Since then I have been fundraising for them by making and selling my handmade jewellery; raised over £1300.00 so far  and now I make and donate the items direct to AMMF and they pass the items on to others who are holding fundraising events for them.

Please pop over to the AMMF website and help raise awareness of this awful cancer. There is very little research or knowledge about it but AMMF are doing all they can to change that.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Kaz xx