Halsey gave a mic-dropping speech about a painful (and common) health issue.

Singer-songwriter Halsey got very real about a little-known health condition in a heartwarming speech.

The 23-year-old artist spoke about living with endometriosis at the Endometriosis Foundation of America's ninth annual Blossom Ball on March 19, 2018, in New York City.    

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Endometriosis.


"I can't pretend anymore that just because I'm a pop artist and I'm touring that everything's perfect and everything's all good and my skin's always great and I'm fit and my outfits are always perfect," the artist said in her speech.  

The singer discussed the challenges of dealing with the common and often painful disorder that affects roughly 1 in 10 women in the United States.

Despite how disruptive it can be, endometriosis is a complicated condition that often goes unrecognized, misdiagnosed, and mistreated. It occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium), is found in regions outside of the uterus or where the tissue should not be. Worldwide, 176 million people, typically between ages 25-35 are affected by the disease.

The illness has very real social, financial, and health implications for many people. Those who have it often experience long periods, a heavy menstrual flow, chronic fatigue, infertility, and pain during sexual intercourse.

With March being Endometriosis Awareness Month, Halsey's inspiring openness about the really challenging aspects of disease is helpful in raising awareness about the condition.

The singer even discussed the impact of the illness on her social life and self esteem.    

"In the process of having everyone pick me apart and feeling so insecure, feeling less of a woman because I couldn't be intimate with my boyfriend, because I couldn't go out when my friends wanted me to, because I was dealing with digestion problems and bleeding problems and fainting and all of the other amazing things that come along with having endo[metriosis]," Halsey said. "It was really hard to feel like that confident, 20-something-year-old girl who wanted to get on the stage with her middle finger held high and make everyone sing along with her."  

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

But Halsey made it clear that this illness won't get her down.

"[I'm] trying to normalize the conversation and say, 'It's okay to talk about reproductive illness, this doesn't make you weak, this makes you strong and you should be proud and vocal,'" she said. "And the more you talk about it, the more likely you're going to help one of your friends who might not know that they have it because they may be afraid of speaking about it, too."

Endometriosis may be difficult, but with more celebrities like Halsey speaking up, the lack of awareness could change.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images.

Whoopi Golderg, Tia Mowry-Hardict, and Lena Dunham are just a few of the people who also have publicly opened up about having the condition. Halsey discussed the importance of visible people sharing their stories and how it's caused her to take charge of her own health. She noted that she recently decided to undergo procedures to mitigate some of the effects of endometriosis and vocalized the importance of speaking out and pushing researchers to find preventative measures that can mitigate the condition for people living with the illness.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

"[These experiences] ... that give me hope," she said, "and make me proud to be sharing my story in knowing that because I'm talking about it, and because I'm not ashamed of it, and because I'm proud of it that more women are in this world, hopefully, can catch their diagnosis earlier, can wake up one day and realize that the pain they're living with is not normal. And that hopefully, they can live a pain free life."

Thanks to Halsey's honesty and the many others like her who are working to raise awareness, people with endometriosis can know they're not alone and that people are advocating for making life better for them all around the world.  

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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