29 September 2016
EndoActive’s Co-founder, Syl Freedman has been named as one of 8 Young Leaders in the 100 Women of Influence Awards, sponsored by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac. The awards are designed to increase the visibility of women’s leadership and highlight the important contribution women make in creating a bold and diverse future for Australia.
Syl started health promotion charity EndoActive Australia & NZ with her mother, Lesley in 2014 to provide information, awareness and advocacy for women and girls with Endometriosis (Endo). Endo affects 1 in 10 women and has no known cause or cure. It often results in chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Syl was diagnosed with Endo at 21.
Freedman says, “As a patient advocate, I’m passionate about empowering women to become active participants in their own healthcare and promoting self-efficacy. On average it takes 8-10 years to be diagnosed with Endo, despite years of living with painful symptoms. I want to reduce diagnostic delay of Endo in Australia. I want every one of us to have appropriate care, treatment and information on self-management. I want this disease to get the attention and funding it deserves.”
Through the power of social media, Syl has created an online community of 8,500 people with posts reaching up to 80,000. The EndoActive website is becoming a hub of information. She writes a personal blog about her experiences at sylfreedman.com.
Syl co-convened and presented at ‘Shared Perspectives’, the 1st EndoActive Endometriosis Conference at the University of Sydney in 2015. ‘Shared Perspectives’ is also the first video educational resource in Australia on Endo, available for streaming and on DVD. Syl was a keynote speaker at HISA’s 2016 Health Informatics Conference, presenting ‘From Agony to Activism: My Road to Health Empowerment’. She is currently studying a Masters in Health Communication at the University of Sydney.
Ainslie van Onselen, Westpac’s director of women’s markets, diversity and inclusion said,
“Women deserve to be recognised as intelligent, capable and equal and these awards not only highlight the incredible breadth of talented Australian women, they uncover those extraordinary women whose tireless commitment to creating change would have otherwise remained unrecognised.”
Awards judge Paul Robertson says, “Here is a bunch of women who are extremely optimistic and throwing themselves into a massive amount of work to really make a difference. It’s very encouraging and refreshing.”
EndoActive is immensely proud of Syl’s personal commitment to empowering women and girls with Endo.