A mother who suffers from a painful illness like child labor has brought 11 strangers together to create a calendar in an attempt to fight the debilitating condition.
Emma Williams-Tully of Wrexham, who has endometriosis, suffered painful pains daily from the beginning of her periods at the age of 10 years.
Chronic back pain, severe periods, migraines and severe stomach cramps are just a few of the side effects that have been suffering for 33 years as a result of the disease, for which there is no cure.
But like thousands of others in the UK, Emma suffered 11 years of pain before taking her diagnosis.
Not only has he since underwent nine surgeries – including a hysterectomy – to relieve pain, he has tragically lost the ability to have a great family he has always dreamed of.
Now, in a fight against endometriosis, Emma is doing all it can to help raise awareness and funds for disease research, affecting one in 10 people in the UK.
Through social media, Emma has found a group of women in the UK who also suffer from endometriosis to create the first such calendar.
Authorized by Endo Warriors, each of their stories is told every month in an attempt to raise funds for research and education about the disease.
Emma said, "It has come until I became so frustrated with all the surgeries and physical and emotional pains that I wanted to turn it back and do something positive.
"And then I came up with the idea of doing this calendar. I put a message on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in doing it with me, and the answer was overwhelming.
"We had over 100 messages from people who wanted to get involved, so I went with the most passionate women.
"We found this amazing buffet at Blackpool called Veva Vegas, and we all dressed in 50-year-old style dresses."
The inspiration behind the theme came from Emma's admiration for Marilyn Monroe, whom she also recently discovered suffering from endometriosis.
She added, "Before I even knew about Endo, I always loved her, but when I heard she had suffered from her, I even admired her. She is my Endo Queen.
"This calendar aims to increase awareness and hope it gives other women the confidence to go to a doctor and to fight for a diagnosis and give them the strength to say they need the help they deserve."
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is when tissue that aligns the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus, such as ovaries, fallopian tubes or intestines.
Symptoms include heavy and painful periods, back and abdominal pain, extreme tiredness and pain during sex. It can also affect fertility and cause early menopause.
It is understood to affect more than two million women in the UK and 176 million worldwide.
Emma added: "Endo not only suffers from painful pain in the period. It is the most painful thing you can imagine – I would even say it compares to being in work.
"On average, it takes seven and a half years for a diagnosis, and this has to stop.
"People think that when you have a baby or a hysterectomy, that's it, you're cured. But that's not true, there's no cure, and you can never have a baby.
"My doctor told me that a child could not happen. Fortunately, I managed to have a daughter, Annabelle, who has four years ago, but I always dreamed that I had four children.
"It was my ambition from a child to have a big family, I thought being a mother was what I had to do.
"But when I was 33, I had a hysterectomy that helped Endo. She reached the point where I had surgery every six months because it spread like fire around my body.
"I know so many girls who have had so many treatments, and pain will not ease. And there is nothing that can truly achieve is to the extent of pain relief.
"How sorry it is, I do not think there will be a remedy soon, but I assume it is the goal."
The calendar is now available to buy online at the price of 7.99 RON. All proceeds will go to Endometriosis UK, the UK's largest charity that supports people with this condition.
You can tell about this story using the comments section below