Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.-Robertson Davies

Today in our Women’s Month series – Extraordinary Voices; we celebrate the extraordinary strength, wit, aura and inspiring qualities of Millen Magese. Magese is an embodiment of love and strength who triumphantly triumphs over Endometriosis.

Meet Millen Magese

Millen Magese is a renowned model, and winner of Miss Tanzania 2011. She has appeared in some of the world’s most prestigious fashion shows in Africa, Europe, America and Asia, and has worked with leading designers such as Ralph Lauren and Karen Millen. Amidst career success, Millen Magese has also known the anguish of living with a debilitating medical condition called Endometrosis.

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Millen Magese has made a name for herself as an international model and humanitarian. She is 5 feet 11 inches; she stands tall and regal, and commands attention rocking the runways of Johannesburg, Lagos, New York and New Delhi.

Her Inspiring Story

Truly not all that glitters is gold. However, Millen decides to make lemonade from the lemons life throws at her. This beautiful journey that will later have a beautiful outcome in her life started when she decided to go on social media to share with the world her story of living with endometriosis – a medical challenge that she has struggled with since she was 13 years old and began experiencing chronic pelvic pain during her menstrual cycle – she could not have anticipated the ensuing response. Her refreshing and courageous openness about this often taboo subject instantly endeared her to a multitude of people, especially others who suffer from the disease and their loved ones.

After dealing with the reality of endometriosis for years in private, what prompted this change of heart?

Magese says: “I was not always open about it until my wake-up call in February.” Endometriosis can cause infertility in women of child-bearing age, and earlier this year,

Magese underwent an egg-retrieval procedure in order to save her eggs and provides her with a chance of having children in the future: “I was only able to produce three eggs. It takes its toll on you emotionally, in addition to the financial commitment involved. And when the trail to save my fallopian tubes came to naught, it was at this point that I decided to talk about it.”

Her Humanitarian Involvement

She was featured on BBC AFRICA, and in this video she explains what endometriosis is, and the difficulties of talking about the condition as an African Woman. To get the message across, she established a foundation and begun an awareness campaign via social media. Millen also took her campaign on the awareness of Endometriosis, so that people within the grass root who suffer such can get aid from government and international bodies.

Most Fulfilling Moment

Millen Magese delivered a baby boy after 13 years of battling Endometriosis. She named him Kairo. Millen’s joy knows no bound as she encourages other women with Endometriosis not to give up in their fight to overcoming this medical condition that has affected over 176 million women world over.

Millen Magese is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by Millen Magese