STEPPING UP: Taking a stand
If you happened to be visiting the Downtown (Houston, TX) Aquarium on September 26th, you may have witnessed scores of women and men running and walking, their purpose emblazoned on their tee shirts: "PCOS – Affecting the lives of 7 Million. It's time to take a stand."
Never having attended – let alone participated – in a 5K race, Lisa Benjamini, President and Founder of the PCOS Foundation, put together this PCOS Awareness event that drew 400 attendees and raised over $43,000.
Her achievement is even more stunning considering that the Foundation was created only seven months ago by the multi-faceted Lisa who is also CEO and President of Houston's Lisanne Wellness Center, CEO of the Advanced Fertility Center of Texas, CEO of Omni-Med Laboratories, a personal trainer and life/wellness coach and mother of two little girls.
With such a full and diverse life, why take on the running of a foundation?
"Throughout my ten years in the medical field, I have witnessed the struggles and frustrations of women who diagnosed themselves with PCOS," Lisa explains. "These women suffered for years, only to find that many of their symptoms and lifelong consequences could have been eliminated with early diagnosis and treatment."
Lisa does not have PCOS herself, but has many friends, patients/clients and employees with PCOS. She first decided to create the foundation after realizing what few resources they had. She felt there was very little help available and knew there were so many more women who were suffering in silence. After more research, she found there was a large percentage of women with PCOS who had never been diagnosed. Lisa was moved to make a change.
With her dedication to health and wellness, Lisa believes that the PCOS Foundation will increase awareness of the condition so that "many lost women can find proper treatment and live healthier and happier lives."
This is done through public and professional education programs, support groups – every third Thursday of the month in the Houston area, discussion boards and national fundraising.
To further promote awareness within the business community, the Foundation's education outreach program was created to educate women at their workplace about PCOS. Women who have PCOS or employers who are interested in this presentation contact the Foundation and arrange a day for a Foundation representative to give out educational information and speak about PCOS.
The Foundation will sponsor its second PCOS Symposium in June 2011 in Houston to promote further education about PCOS to women and their loved ones. Speakers include physicians, fitness trainers and alternative medicine professionals. The Symposium is free.
Always thinking of new ways to reach out to more women, Lisa is planning to have educational CDs in public libraries, education programs in schools, chapters across the U.S., national awareness events, an annual gala, another 5k race/walk and a dance-a-thon.
Says Lisa, "Through these efforts, we hope to establish grant programs that will help women affected by PCOS obtain treatments through medical [and] lifestyle management programs."
For more information on the PCOS Foundation, to donate and volunteer, visit