As a 25-year-old woman, talking about bowel problems is a sensitive and private matter. However, I've come to realise that staying silent about my health issues won't assist others in getting the help they need.nIn the midst of the 2020 pandemic, I began experiencing excruciating stomach pains. My abdomen would bloat significantly during the day, causing me to go up two dress sizes from morning to evening every day, and the pain resembled what I could only imagine as labor pains. My energy levels plummeted, making it challenging to exercise and even get through the working day, eroding my confidence.nThroughout this ordeal, I faced a series of misdiagnoses, from Coeliac disease to tests for bowel cancer, Crohn's, and Colitis, all of which turned out negative. Despite the doctors attributing my symptoms to IBS and sending me on my way, I knew deep down that something wasn't right with my body. nI took it upon myself to research my symptoms extensively and noticed that they worsened during my menstrual cycle. Armed with this information, I urged the doctors to explore the possibility of bowel endometriosis. I feared they might dismiss my concerns, but fortunately, they took my worries seriously. Upon examining my MRI scan, they discovered signs of scarring on my bowel, indicating the presence of endometriosis.nIn January 2023, I underwent a laparoscopy, which confirmed that my bowel was adhered to my cervix. As soon as I regained consciousness after the surgery, my first question was, "Did you find it?" Hearing the doctors confirm, I couldn't hold back my tears of relief. nFinally, after three years of suffering, I had a concrete reason for my pain, and I hope this marks the end of my ordeal.The journey from experiencing the initial symptoms to getting a diagnosis took three years, which is considered normal in such cases. Sadly, many people don't receive any closure beyond being told they have 'IBS,' and that's something I'm determined to change.nSharing my story and raising awareness about bowel issues is essential, so others going through similar struggles can find the courage to advocate for themselves and seek the right medical attention. nI am running the London Marathon and raising money to help ensure no one has to endure unanswered questions and prolonged suffering like I did.nBowel Research UK is a national medical research charity dedicated to funding new treatments and potential cures for bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and other bowel disorders. The charity’s goal is to save lives while also enabling people living with chronic bowel conditions to enjoy a much better quality of life.

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Name: London Marathon 2024

Date: 21st April 2024

Fundraising target: £2500

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currently achieved of £2500 target