About Magnolia Health
A message from our founder: Alice Paine
My journey with Endometriosis began as a 12 year old. I remember lying on the floor in the toilets at school in agony. Painful and heavy periods, blood stained school uniforms.At the time I didn't know what it was but thanks to medication it didn't really surface again until a few years ago after my third child was born. It was a few months after her birth and I thought I had appendicitis. The pain started to become more frequent, not just monthly and quite debilitating.
It seemed crazy to me that an invasive surgery was the only way to get an official diagnosis and the wait time to see a specialist in the public system was agonizingly long! And so we took out private health insurance and endured a long 12 month waiting period before we could see to a gynecologist privately. With three young children to care for, I felt like a terrible mother with not much energy and often curled up on the couch in pain. My heatpack became my best friend and went everywhere with me. I was taking far too much nurofen just to get through the day and ran up a big water bill with frequent hot showers to soothe the pain.
I went down a rabbit hole of trying to find different things that would help and saw multiple doctors. Medications weren't covered by the PBS super expensive and not financially sustainable. I felt overwhelmed with information online, alone and frustrated by the process. It was affecting my marriage, mum life, social calendar, work ethic, mental well being and ability to do “normal things”. In 2021 out of desperation to put my pain to good use, I, along with my fabulous family and friends hosted a high tea in Buderim to raise awareness and funds for Endometriosis. In sharing my story that had previously been so private, I became connected with many other women who had been suffering or knew someone that had. My heart just ached, knowing all to well the effects on a person's quality of life.
Later that year I had a hysterectomy to remove my uterus that was enlarged due to Adenomyosis as well as excision of stage 3 Endometriosis. The hospital stay was particularly challenging as it was during COVID when I couldn't have my husband or children visit. The recovery was also tough but I felt that it was the right decision for me. As I live with a disease that has no cure, my passion to help other sufferers has continued to grow. In 2022 we hosted our second high tea fundraiser this time with doctors and specialists involved and I really felt that there was a need to make more of a difference to the lives of local women in a more practical way. Along with an incredible team of volunteers we decided to create our own Sunshine Coast based charity to support women living with Endometriosis, Adenomyosis and Pelvic Pain conditions.
The Name: Over the years I have found great peace and healing by spending time in my garden and nature. I absolutely love Magnolia flowers and when thinking and researching an appropriate name for our charity I learned that flowers actually have meanings. The Magnolia Flower represents dignity, perseverance, hope, spirituality, resilience and endurance which I think are quite fitting.
Magnolia Trees are known for their healing powers - in traditional Chinese medicine the bark from the Magnolia Tree is even used to help with sleep.
Magnolia Health Inc was created by an incredible team of volunteers who have so generously donated their time, expertise and generous spirit. It is because of their commitment and dedication that we are able to facilitate this support in our community.