SINCE the age of 17, Kim Neeser has lived in a world of pain.
Pain that would often leave her unable to work or even get out of bed some days.
But for two years, she would have to fight for answers.
It wasn't until she found a gynaecologist that would listen would the now 33-year-old find out she had endometriosis.
"I went to all these doctors who would just tell me to try this medication, try this pill, but nothing worked," Ms Neeser said.
"It felt like such a fight just to get my voice heard and have someone realise that I was actually in a lot of pain."
Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the female reproductive organ.
This abnormality can cause pain and cramping in the lower abdomen and other areas, abnormal menstrual cycles and much more.
According to Endometriosis Australia, more than 830,000 Australian women suffer from the disease at some point in their lives.
And even now at age 33, she is still struggling with its affects.
Over the next few years, Ms Neeser went in for four laparoscopicablation surgeries in an attempt to stop the pain, but to no avail.
"It was really hard," she said.
"The recovery was tough after the first surgery and it took me a long time to feel any better, but each time got easier.
"But it still didn't fix anything, all the pain and suffering just kept coming back."
In time, Ms Neeser found herself struggling to work.
"I'm a mental health support worker and because I was in so much pain, I had to keep cutting my hours back," she said.
"It's now at the point where I can't get out of bed, it's really draining.
"When you're in that amount of pain, your own mental health starts to deteriorate."
Six months ago, Ms Neeser was diagnosed with adenomyosis, a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the organ.
"When I got that news, I just didn't know how to feel," she said.
"I mean you're already dealing with so much, but to add this other disease on to what I'm already going through, it was really heart-wrenching."
In her search for some sort of relief, Ms Neeser came across Dr Simon Gordon, a man that she now calls a "gold standard specialist" in the fields of gynaecology.
"After so long, Dr Gordon said he could help me and even though there isn't a cure for endometriosis, he is hopefully able to make a huge difference," she said.
Ms Neeser will undergo an excision surgery, which will allow Dr Gordon to cut out the visible endometriotic tissue, rather than just burning it off.
At the same time, she will need to undergo a hysterectomy to help her adenomyosis.
"While I am so grateful that I will be able to stop this disease, it's devastating to know I won't be able to have my own children," Ms Neeser said.
"I was heartbroken when I made the realisation, but I've been so lucky with my partner Emily as she has said she will be able to have our children.
"She has been the most beautiful and supportive partner in the world and I honestly can't thank her enough for that."
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As the medical bills piled higher, Ms Neeser couldn't shake the financial burden that was coming.
"I am so thankful for all these surgeries and the hope that I can return to normal life after, but when you find out that a hysterectomy is going to set you back almost $10,000, it gets pretty scary," she said.
"And because I haven't been able to work as much, I've become very anxious about how I'm going to be able to pull all this off."
But her friend Greta Brown came to the rescue.
"Greta had been around a lot and had seen that I was suffering immensely so she decided to start a Go Fund Me to help with my medical bills," Ms Neeser said.
"It was really heart-warming to see her and so many other people in the community supporting me, it's so beautiful."
To date, the GoFundMe has raised more than $7000 for her cause.
But ultimately, Ms Neeser wants to help other young women on the same journey as her.
"It's been such a long journey and I think I think it could have been easier if I'd been supported from the beginning," she said.
"There is a lot of stigma around endometriosis in particular and a lot of doctors out there that simply don't believe you when you say you're in that kind of pain.
"I want to raise awareness for the disease and make sure no more women have to go through what I've been through."
- If you would like to help Ms Neeser, you can donate online at gofundme.com/f/support-devastating-essential-hysterectomy
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