Preston mum taking on London Marathon to help 21-year-old daughter with endometriosis freeze her eggs
Her daughter was in so much pain because of her periods, she was put into menopause while still a teenager.
Preston mum Fay Morne is now fund-raising to help her 21-year-old daughter Kia have her eggs frozen. Kia suffers from a chronic condition called endometriosis and her fertility has been severely impacted by being put into menopause at age 19.
Fay aims to raise at least £5,000 by running the London Marathon on Sunday, April 26, plus three triathlons later this year.
Commenting on the years leading up to her daughter's diagnosis, the 44-year-old said: "It was so upsetting. I was her mum and I felt helpless because I couldn't do much.
"The worst case scenario comes to your mind. A lot of the symptoms are similar to bowel cancer, which a friend of mine had at the time, and it often goes unnoticed."
In endometriosis, tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow, thicken and bleed in other places, such as the ovaries, bladder, bowel, and along the pelvis and fallopian tubes. But when this lining breaks down, it has nowhere to go. Symptoms include extreme pelvic pain, inflammation, fatigue, feeling sick, constipation, diarrhea, severe bleeding and difficulty getting pregnant.
Kia, a UCLan student nurse, began developing abdominal pain, nausea and bowel problems at age 14. But her health took a scarier turn when she began fainting at 17.
Mum-of-two Fay said: "It was frustrating because we were going back and forth to appointments, and doctors put it down to food poisoning."
Following 18 months of GP appointments and hospital admissions, Kia was finally giving a diagnosis.
"While it is a life-long and life-limiting illness, it was a relief to know she didn't have something she could die of," said Fay.
For six months, Kia had Zoladex injections, a man-made hormone that induces the menopause, thereby helping to reduce the growth of endometriosis. The injections shut down her ovaries to stop the production of oestrogen, the female sex hormone that causes the thickening of the uterus and worsens endometriosis symptoms.
It is a risky treatment, as her ovaries could struggle to re-stimulate if she is in chemical menopause for too long.
She also felt its full side effects, developing hot sweats, dizziness, headaches, mood changes, hair loss, bone and joint pain, skin reactions, sleep issues, fatigue, nausea, memory issues, blurred vision, bloating and swelling.
Fearing the menopause could cause lasting damage to her ovaries, the third-year student has decided to have both surgery and a hormone-releasing coil fitted, so that she can freeze her eggs, giving her a better shot of having children in the future.
"It was devastating to see what she went through but we are now looking forwards and being proactive about treatments. The condition is not that well-known so we're trying to help educate others and we've put our thinking caps on and decided that freezing Kia's eggs will give her the best chance of having a family one day," said Fay.
But egg freezing is not available on the NHS to those with endometriosis, unless they are undergoing treatment for cancer, and will cost between £5,000 to £10,000.
"If I could give Kia the money tomorrow, I would, but I'm a single working parent who's struggling. She's still my baby and you do whatever you can to help your children. We can't do anything about her illness but I can help with her egg freezing," said Fay.
"Running is my thing and I always like to combine fitness challenges with raising money for charity, so this time I decided to do it for Kia."
Commenting on her daughter's determination to succeed in life despite her obstacles, she added: "She's missed time at work, college and university because she's been so unwell. But she's career-focused and has managed to catch up and do extremely well at university thanks to her work ethic.
"She might not be running marathons but she's showing mental strength in other ways. That's like a marathon in itself. You need inbuilt resilience and mental strength to deal with endometriosis and she is certainly displaying that now.
"She's been very brave sharing her story to raise awareness and help other people. Every credit to her. Everything she does makes me proud."
To make a donation, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/2egww-fundraising-to-freeze-kias-eggs?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp%20share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR3I_8uRuXyiqZGcQ1tc3zldv3eQcnI4ltXwwGIClrVXCi-e6dQ0C00fR7E
For more information about the condition, visit https://endometriosis-uk.org/