Padma Lakshmi & Lonneke Engel

March 15th 2012, I went to the 4th Annual Blossom Ball to benefit the Endometriosis Foundation of America. This event was hosted by Padma Lakshmi, who has openly spoken about suffering from this disease. It was a great night with a lot of attention to women’s health. Tyra Banks spoke, as well as Padma herself, and the doctors who initiated this foundation. I was part of the Honorary Committee. It made me think of writing more blogs about womens health, as I find that very important. Let’s focus on this disease, which about approximately 176 (!) million women and girls worldwide suffer from, 8.5 million in the USA alone.

Blossom Ball invitation 2012


As you can see, many other celebrities attended, like Susan Sarandon, Debbie Harry and and models Alek Wek and Genevieve Morton. I was even mistaken for Dita von Teese by someone haha!

So first of all: what is endometriosis exactly?

Endometriosis is a disease where the tissue that lines the uterus and the womb, has spread outside of the uterus and grows in different places in the body, mostly in the:

  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Tissues that hold the uterus in place
  • Outer surface of the uterus
  • Lining of the pelvic cavity
It can also grow in other parts of the body.

Result is pain and discomfort in pelvic area, lower  back pain mostly around the time these women have their period, or during sex , bowel movement or urinating.

To read more about what endometriosis is, what symptoms you can have, and what you can do about it, go to the Women’s Health page from the USA government here.

To donate or learn more about the Endometriosis Foundation of America, go here. And read their fact sheet on Endometriosis and read stories from women who suffer from endometriosis here.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should go to your doctor and get checked out if you suffer from endometriosis. As I have some symptoms of pain as well, I have been checked too. At first sight it seems I don’t have endometriosis. I am happy to hear that but the symptoms are not gone yet and I have to get more checks done. I urge every woman to get checked regularly anyway, but especially when you suffer from pain or discomfort, go to the doctor as that is not normal. Since so many women have issues, it is not a taboo. We can talk about it, and it is good that you share with your friends there experiences. I will update you on my condition too!

Love, Lonneke

The Daily Mail UK did a little feature on this event, read it here.

the IMG crew at 4th Annual Blossom Ball

p.s. my table with IMG models and agents was so much fun! I also have to say that Padma did a great job creating the nice ambiance in the NY Public Library. She even took care of the fragrances in the room. Eye for detail I would say. It was nice that a great cause like this gets attention by a beautiful event like the Blossom Ball. See you next year!