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Many African-American women have experienced the impact of fibroids, which can cause weight gain, painful menstrual cycles, infertility, and other serious health-related issues.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, up to 80 percent of African-American women will develop fibroids in her lifetime.

Gessie Thompson, a fibroids awareness advocate, fertility coach, and author of Hope Beyond Fibroids, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to talk about her 14-year battle with the often-times debilitating symptoms of fibroid disease.

Thompson told Martin that in many instances, fibroids are treated like a headache, but are really “a widespread epidemic; it affects over 80 percent of African-American woman by age 50.”

Of Hope Beyond Fibroids on Amazon.com:

In HOPE BEYOND FIBROIDS: Stories of Miracle Babies & the Journey to Motherhood you can read Gessie’s full story of her inspiring journey to motherhood; her refusal to give up on her dream; and the heroic walk of faith she and her beloved husband Marc traveled. Rounding out the book are incredible and inspiring miracle stories of 15 other mothers, both biological and adoptive, who too continued to have hope beyond fibroids-hope that they would one day become the mothers they’d always dreamed of becoming.

Thompson, who is on the board of The White Dress Project, a non-profit whose mission is to “galvanize support and promote national awareness about the fibroid epidemic among women domestically and globally through education, research and advocacy,” shared her journey to overcome fibroids.

“I personally suffered through fourteen years battling fibroids, ten years of that — infertility — that was actually stemming from those fibroids. I had five fibroid surgeries, which ended in a hysterectomy this past March. Five other surgeries, which were from complications from those fibroids. A miscarriage, five IVF cycles.

“This is not a story, this is real — A hundred days in the hospital, plus my daughter actually fought the fibroids in my womb when I was finally pregnant after those ten years, and my heart stopped on the operating table.”

“But thank God we have a little miracle, Nia (her daughter), but the truth is, that is not everybody’s story.”

Thompson listed heavy bleeding, bloating, back pain, pain during sexual intercourse, sciatic pain, and infertility as symptoms of the condition. She also encouraged viewers to visit ChangeTheCycle.com as a location where women suffering with fibroids can learn about alternative methods for treating the disease.

Watch Gessie Thompson share her battle with fibroids, symptoms, and advocating for fibroid sufferers in the video clip above. For more information, visit www.HopeBeyondFibroids.com.

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

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