6 Nigerian Women Detail Their Harrowing Fibroids Stories & How They Won The Battle Against All Odds

July Is Fibroids Awareness Month! It is estimated that as many as 77 percent of women of reproductive age could have fibroid(s) without knowing it. Eighty percent of all women will develop fibroids by age 50.

That number spikes to nearly 90 percent for African-American women, who are three times as likely to be negatively affected by the condition. For many African-American women, larger fibroids with heavy bleeding can develop at a younger age.

In a bid to create more awareness on fibroid and the effect it has on the socio-economic lives of women, a photographer, Mayor Otu started a project, which involves affected women sharing their fibroid story.

Mayor Otu was able to carry out this project with the help of the Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation, an NGO carrying out free fibroid surgery for women who cannot afford it.

Below are the stories of 10 women, who shared their stories and how they won against fibroids after many painful years.

“It hasn’t been an easy journey for me because I thought I was pregnant with child. Having to deal with the loss of 3 children to different medical conditions wasn’t easy for me as a mother but the sight of the protruding stomach brought back a little bit of hope.

For almost 2 years nothing happened and I had to go to the hospital to check up and run scan. It was during these scan that i was told that I wasn’t pregnant but it was Fibroid. They spoke to me about the symptoms and I realized that I’ve had this thing for more than 7 years without knowing what it was.

My devastation was indeed unbearable because by this time my husband had left me insinuating that what I was carrying in my tommy was the reason for his misfortunes in life. I was left with no one to turn to, no money to fund the surgery and I soon became an object of scorn.

Due to pain and discomfort it caused me, I couldn’t even continue with my small business and my health had since deteriorated. I used to be very fat but I guess this thing has taken away everything from me. I’ve been called many names and accused of things I’ve not done but I always believed that help will come someday.

I learnt about the @benjaminolowojebutufdn and the free surgery, I came with the hope that my help has finally come. I was booked for surgery and I couldn’t believe it was free not until the surgery was done and it was successful.

There are a lot of women going through the pains of Fibroid and I want them to know that there’s a way for everyone. I wept when I woke up to see the Fibroid that was removed from my belly, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

READ ALSO: All You Need To Know About Fibroids: Symptoms, Treatment & Diagnosis

“I can’t tell you the shame and reproach I go through just because I’ve Fibroid. Our society is one that looks down any woman that has that medical condition. It’s like you’re the worst sinner and this is like a payment for all the bad things you’ve done.

Why do women have to go through this kind of trauma all alone and most times no one is trying to offer a shoulder. I’ve had many instances that I will have to cry my heart out. I remember one time I decided that I was going for surgery but on reaching the hospital, the price they told me…for someone working with the Local government service, I can’t afford it (Three Hundred thousand naira)

How will I save this kind of money for the surgery alone, won’t I pay house rent, food, family and other expenses? It was overwhelming to say the least. Then I heard about the @benjaminolowojebutufdn from a friend of mine, she has been there for me through it all. She suggested I come for the surgery since it was free.

I came and the surgery was successful and I can’t hide my joy! These happy tears are for those sleepless nights, those sad days and those hopeless years, thank you for giving me the best Christmas gift ever! For me Christmas came early.”

READ ALSO: Actress, Monalisa Chinda Shares Amazing Birth Story Of New Mum Who Won Against Fibroids After Six Years Of Childlessness

“We’ve been married for about 4 years and it has been an eventful journey for us. After the first year and we couldn’t get pregnant, we decided to seek medical help. The Doctor asked us to go for a scan and bring the result to the hospital for further advice.

It was a thing of shock when I realized I had Fibroid and with all the information (misinformation) I heard about it, it felt like the world has come to an end. There were pressure from everywhere, family, friends etc but we decided not to tell them about our struggles due to the stigmatization of women who have Fibroid.

My husband and I have been seeking for a better way to deal with the issue and I must say, he has made these difficult times a bit easy with the love and concern he has shown me, not every woman is lucky to have a man like this.

My husband heard about the @benjaminolowojebutufdn foundation through a friend of his and he told me that this is the moment we’ve been waiting for. For more than 15 hours we sat in the bus from Kaduna to Uyo and he’s always by my side, if this isn’t love then tell me what is?

For all the love he’s shown me, I can’t wait to tell our daughters what true love is and our sons how real men treat their women. I guess Fibroid has made me realize that not all men are scum.”

READ ALSO: Surgeon, Dr Benjamin Olowojebutu Talks On Managing Fibroids In Pregnancy

”Life hasn’t been too good in the last couple of years especially since I was told about my condition (Fibroid). The idea that I have Fibroid scared the living hell out of me and I couldn’t carry out my normal activities.

The first time I asked about the cost of Fibroid surgery and they told me it will cost more than Two Hundred and fifty thousand naira ($688) I knew that I will have to live with it for the rest of my life…how will I ever afford that kind of money?

As the day goes by, the situation got worse, the intense bleeding, it was very uncomfortable for me and those around me. My sister in-law told me about the free surgery by @benjaminolowojebutufdn and how they have changed the stories of a lot of women and she practically brought me from Calabar to Uyo.

I’ve heard a lot of bad news about those that went for Fibroid surgery and that fear would not let me look at the brighter side of freedom. Today I shed tears for so many reasons but the one that breaks my heart the most is that a lot of poor women are suffering without help in sight but look at me getting it for free, I ask God why me?”

READ ALSO: An Instagram User Shares About Her Personal Battle With Fibroids To Encourage Women to be Health Conscious

“I would never believe that a young person like me will have Fibroid because what I used to hear was that it was for older women. To be diagnosed with Fibroid and I’m still in the University was really heartbreaking for me and I could only find refuge from my Church.

My pastor’s wife has been a great support system during this hard times. Even with my level of education, the fear of surgery would not even make me consider it even if I had the money. My pastor’s wife has been praying with me and my belief was that God will send help my way.

She then heard about the free surgery and told me we had prayed enough and it’s time to allow God use the people He has given knowledge to bring me the much needed relief and joy. I couldn’t tell my parents about the surgery because I know they would have discouraged me.

I want to thank God for using my Mama in the Lord not just as a spiritual refuge but also as a counselor that advised and stood by me through out the surgery process. Sometimes not everything is spiritual, try and seek medical help on issues that you don’t really understand especially when it has to do with your health. Even the Bible says, my people perish because of lack of knowledge.”

”It’s been one of the most challenging things I’ve been through growing up. I’m just 23 years old and I’ve Fibroid already? I used to think it was a thing for the matured or older women. I’ve learnt about ways to get rid of it but the fear to go under the knife was so much that I decided I’d rather live with it than get on that table.

I’ve heard a lot of gist about how people don’t come back alive and that had really discouraged me. My sister who is a medical Doctor had to put me through the advantages of getting the Fibroid surgery done and she assured me nothing bad would happen.

A lot of women would love to get rid of this Fibroid but the people closer to them aren’t helping them by supporting them through it with the proper counseling. If you’re young but you start noticing unusual changes in your body, please go for proper medical checks. Don’t allow ignorance and fear keep you away from getting help.”

Swipe to see photos of the huge fibroids removed from the women’s tommy…

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“It hasn’t been an easy journey for me because I thought I was pregnant with child. Having to deal with the loss of 3 children to different medical conditions wasn’t easy for me as a mother but the sight of the protruding stomach brought back a little bit of hope. For almost 2 years nothing happened and I had to go to the hospital to check up and run scan. It was during these scan that i was told that I wasn’t pregnant but it was Fibroid. They spoke to me about the symptoms and I realized that I’ve had this thing for more than 7 years without knowing what it was. My devastation was indeed unbearable because by this time my husband had left me insinuating that what I was carrying in my tommy was the reason for his misfortunes in life. I was left with no one to turn to, no money to fund the surgery and I soon became an object of scorn. Due to pain and discomfort it caused me, I couldn’t even continue with my small business and my health had since deteriorated. I used to be very fat but I guess this thing has taken away everything from me. I’ve been called many names and accused of things I’ve not done but I always believed that help will come someday. I learnt about the @benjaminolowojebutufdn and the free surgery, I came with the hope that my help has finally come. I was booked for surgery and I couldn’t believe it was free not until the surgery was done and it was successful. There are a lot of women going through the pains of Fibroid and I want them to know that there’s a way for everyone. I wept when I woke up to see the Fibroid that was removed from my belly, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me” Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. 2018. #medicaldocumentary #documentaryphotography #mayorotu #womenwithfibroid #communityhealth #who #akwaibom

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“I can’t tell you the shame and reproach I go through just because I’ve Fibroid. Our society is one that looks down any woman that has that medical condition. It’s like you’re the worst sinner and this is like a payment for all the bad things you’ve done. Why do women have to go through this kind of trauma all alone and most times no one is trying to offer a shoulder. I’ve had many instances that I will have to cry my heart out. I remember one time I decided that I was going for surgery but on reaching the hospital, the price they told me…for someone working with the Local government service, I can’t afford it (Three Hundred thousand naira) How will I save this kind of money for the surgery alone, won’t I pay house rent, food, family and other expenses? It was overwhelming to say the least. Then I heard about the @benjaminolowojebutufdn from a friend of mine, she has been there for me through it all. She suggested I come for the surgery since it was free. I came and the surgery was successful and I can’t hide my joy! These happy tears are for those sleepless nights, those sad days and those hopeless years, thank you for giving me the best Christmas gift ever! For me Christmas came early”. Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. 2018. #documentaryphotography #documentaryphotographer #medicaldocumentary #mayorotu #womenwithfibroid #everydayafrica #akwaibom #ruralwomen #fibroidsawareness #unwomen

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“We’ve been married for about 4 years and it has been an eventful journey for us. After the first year and we couldn’t get pregnant, we decided to seek medical help. The Doctor asked us to go for a scan and bring the result to the hospital for further advice. It was a thing of shock when I realized I had Fibroid and with all the information (misinformation) I heard about it, it felt like the world has come to an end. There were pressure from everywhere, family, friends etc but we decided not to tell them about our struggles due to the stigmatization of women who have Fibroid. My husband and I have been seeking for a better way to deal with the issue and I must say, he has made these difficult times a bit easy with the love and concern he has shown me, not every woman is lucky to have a man like this. My husband heard about the @benjaminolowojebutufdn foundation through a friend of his and he told me that this is the moment we’ve been waiting for. For more than 15 hours we sat in the bus from Kaduna to Uyo and he’s always by my side , if this isn’t love then tell me what is? For all the love he’s shown me, I can’t wait to tell our daughters what true love is and our sons how real men treat their women. I guess Fibroid has made me realize that not all men are scum” Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. 2018. #communityhealth #medicaldocumentary #documentaryphotography #documentaryphotographer #mayorotu #womenwithfibroid #truelove #akwaibom

A post shared by DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER (@mayorotu) on

View this post on Instagram

“ Life hasn’t been too good in the last couple of years especially since I was told about my condition (Fibroid). The idea that I have Fibroid scared the living hell out of me and I couldn’t carry out my normal activities. The first time I asked about the cost of Fibroid surgery and they told me it will cost more than Two Hundred and fifty thousand naira ($688) I knew that I will have to live with it for the rest of my life…how will I ever afford that kind of money? As the day goes by, the situation got worse, the intense bleeding, it was very uncomfortable for me and those around me. My sister in-law told me about the free surgery by @benjaminolowojebutufdn and how they have changed the stories of a lot of women and she practically brought me from Calabar to Uyo. I’ve heard a lot of bad news about those that went for Fibroid surgery and that fear would not let me look at the brighter side of freedom. Today I shed tears for so many reasons but the one that breaks my heart the most is that a lot of poor women are suffering without help in sight but look at me getting it for free, I ask God why me? “ Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. 2018. #medicaldocumentary #documentaryphotographer #documentaryphotography #mayorotu #womenwithfibroid #fibroid #unwomen #akwaibom

A post shared by DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER (@mayorotu) on

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“ I would never believe that a young person like me will have Fibroid because what I used to hear was that it was for older women. To be diagnosed with Fibroid and I’m still in the University was really heartbreaking for me and I could only find refuge from my Church. My pastor’s wife has been a great support system during this hard times. Even with my level of education, the fear of surgery would not even make me consider it even if I had the money. My pastor’s wife has been praying with me and my belief was that God will send help my way. She then heard about the free surgery and told me we had prayed enough and it’s time to allow God use the people He has given knowledge to bring me the much needed relief and joy. I couldn’t tell my parents about the surgery because I know they would have discouraged me. I want to thank God for using my Mama in the Lord not just as a spiritual refuge but also as a counselor that advised and stood by me through out the surgery process. Sometimes not everything is spiritual, try and seek medical help on issues that you don’t really understand especially when it has to do with your health. Even the Bible says, my people perish because of lack of knowledge “. Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. 2018. #medicaldocumentary #documentaryphotographer #documentaryphotography #mayorotu #womenwithfibroid #fibroid #ruralcommunities #akwaibom

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“It’s been one of the most challenging things I’ve been through growing up. I’m just 23 years old and I’ve Fibroid already? I used to think it was a thing for the matured or older women. I’ve learnt about ways to get rid of it but the fear to go under the knife was so much that I decided I’d rather live with it than get on that table. I’ve heard a lot of gist about how people don’t come back alive and that had really discouraged me. My sister who is a medical Doctor had to put me through the advantages of getting the Fibroid surgery done and she assured me nothing bad would happen. A lot of women would love to get rid of this Fibroid but the people closer to them aren’t helping them by supporting them through it with the proper counseling. If you’re young but you start noticing unusual changes in your body, please go for proper medical checks. Don’t allow ignorance and fear keep you away from getting help”. Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. 2018. #medicaldocumentary #documentaryphotography #documentaryphotographer #mayorotu #everydayafrica #fibroidstory #womenwithfibroid #Ruralwomen #Akwaibom

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