Meet Sasha | PCOS Challenge
I am pleased to introduce Sasha Ottey as our new Souper Star!
Sasha Ottey is Founder and Executive Director of PCOS Challenge, Inc. Sasha started the organization after she was diagnosed with PCOS and experienced great dissatisfaction with the availability of support resources for women with the condition.
Since its programs started 2009, PCOS Challenge, Inc. has quickly grown to over 19,500 members worldwide including its online and offline support groups. PCOS Challenge is innovative in its multimedia approach to support. It produces the national award-winning cable television show PCOS Challenge, a health series which follows ten women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome as they have their lives transformed by naturopathic and allopathic medical experts and coaches. Its website, PCOSChallenge.com has been called the “Facebook for women with PCOS” by its members, and its popular PCOS Challenge radio show features internationally recognized PCOS experts, New York Times best-selling authors and real life stories from women with PCOS. The organization also provides offline support networks, webinars, and educational products.
Sasha is a Clinical and Research Microbiologist with a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from Howard University and a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Phoenix.
I started PCOS Challenge after a defining moment in my life, and months after I got diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I was having difficulty finding resources and support that would help me to come to terms with the diagnosis. As a result, I was becoming excessively anxious and frustrated, and felt alone.
When you have been diagnosed with a condition that is an obvious mystery to the medical community, it is scary to not have answers to questions about your health, and you may be left feeling hopeless and confused. However, the idea that I needed to be my own health advocate sparked in my head. That was my defining moment.
I decided that if I couldn’t find it, then I should create it. PCOSChallenge.com was born. Almost 20,000 members, over 100 radio shows, and a few television show episodes later, we are steadfast in our mission to raise public awareness about PCOS and help women with the condition overcome their symptoms and reduce their risk for life-threatening related diseases; and our vision that PCOS is treated as a public health priority.
What have you found most surprising about women’s health?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common endocrine disorder in women of child bearing age. Though PCOS is usually diagnosed in childbearing age (teen years through the 40s), it carries health ramifications throughout a woman’s entire life. It still perplexes me that there is so little attention and awareness given to PCOS and other women’s health issues.
We were once told by a major cable network that PCOS is not “sexy” enough for them to cover. Polycystic ovarian syndrome causes extreme distress to women, their families, workplaces and entire communities. It affects many to the core of their identities as women. Not only is it a quality of life issue, but It is also a precursor for so many life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancers! I grew up with the saying, “Prevention is better than cure,” and I believe that to be the truth.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that over 4.3 billion dollars are spent in the US annually to diagnose and treat women with PCOS; so imagine the favourable long-term impact that it would have on the economy and healthcare system if more resources were allocated toward disease prevention, giving families access to healthy foods and education about healthy lifestyle habits. Imagine a world where bringing awareness to causes that can improve people’s lives and promote healthier living will be highlighted, and women’s issues are taken seriously and not rated based on sensationalism. This can happen the more that we advocate for ourselves and show that we will not be ignored.
What do you wish every woman knew about her own health?
Arguably, women carry more burdens than anyone else. We deal with more pain. Our bodies are responsible for providing nourishment and comfort. However, women are also fierce fighters. Whether dealing with PCOS, another disease, or in good health, know that you are ultimately in charge of your own health and well being. We can all make choices that help us to be happier and healthier. Arm yourself with information and support and leave behind as many stressors and as much negativity as you can.
Get Connected with Sasha!
PCOSChallenge.com – Social Networking Site
PCOS.tv – PCOS Challenge Television and Radio shows