Kym Lee has been transforming celebrities with her makeup artistry for over 25 years and is now the CEO of her own business, WinknPout Cosmetics. Her work has been featured in films like “Jumping the Broom” and “Sparkle,” and she has worked with high-profile clients including Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, and Kerry Washington.
After a career of enhancing beauty, Kym Lee is working with USA Fibroid Centers as an ambassador to make over the conversation surrounding uterine fibroids. Kym’s goal is to encourage women who are suffering from fibroids to tell their stories. She hopes to break the stigma about discussing women’s healthcare and help women make more informed decisions by sharing what she learned from her fibroid journey.
Be Proactive About Your Symptoms
Kym’s story starts with daily pain and discomfort. “I really felt like I was dying of headaches, fatigue, and weight gain. I felt like my body was out of my control,” says Kym. She also began bleeding for at least three weeks per month. “We had thrown away probably 12 to 15 sets of bed sheets because I would bleed through sheet after sheet after sheet,” says Kim. “It was so embarrassing.”
Kym’s physical symptoms also took an emotional toll on her marriage. “When you’re bleeding 22 days out of 30, what’s your sex life like?” Kym asks. The combination of physical and mental symptoms was overwhelming, making Kym feel that she had no control over her life.
Although Kym had a strong support system, she did not want to become a burden to those around her. “I did what I thought was going to be best for my marriage, my mental stability, and for my family so I would not take them on this horrific, emotional journey,” says Kym.
As a fibroid ambassador, Kym talks about the unspoken costs of having fibroids because she wants women to know that, instead of bearing the burden of fibroids alone, they should seek out the care they need to feel better.
Understand Your Diagnosis
Like many women, Kym waited to seek out treatment because she could not afford to take time off work. “I probably suffered with fibroids for 10 to 12 years because of my schedule. I work with celebrities. I didn’t have two to three weeks per month to say no,” Kym explains. Saying “no” meant turning down opportunities to work with stars that may only be offered once.
Kym tried other remedies like neuropathic and over-the-counter pain medicines. She had developed anemia due to her fibroids causing excessive blood loss and was receiving weekly blood transfusions and iron infusions to battle this symptom. However, nothing she tried seemed to have a positive impact on her health or quality of life.
When her husband found her lying on their garage floor, immobilized with pain, it was the turning point in Kym’s story. Her husband told her, “This is it. I am not going to lose you.” At this moment, Kym realized she could no longer put off getting help for her fibroids.
Consult with a Fibroid Specialist
Kym started looking for treatment and was presented with one solution: a hysterectomy. “My doctor said she sees fibroids every day, and that the solution was to just get rid of the uterus,” Kym says. It wasn’t just the casual, abrupt way the hysterectomy was presented that influenced Kym’s decision: what hit Kym even harder was hearing that her fibroids may develop into cancer. Kym explains, “I think at that point I
was so fed up. Hysterectomy sounded like it was an immediate, quick solution, and I just wanted to feel better.”
Although Kym had sought out a first and second opinion about her fibroid treatment, she was never referred to a fibroid specialist. Part of her mission as an ambassador is to get women connected with healthcare providers who can provide a range of treatment options. At USA Fibroid Centers, our fibroid specialists are Interventional Radiologists who specialize in a minimally invasive treatment for fibroids called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE is an effective, non-surgical procedure that can relieve symptoms and preserve a woman’s fertility. “Many healthcare providers are unaware of the advantages that Uterine Fibroid Embolization offers,” Dr. Yan Katsnelson, USA Fibroid Centers Founder and CEO, explains. “That’s why we’re working with our ambassadors like Kym Lee to raise awareness of this procedure, so women know they don’t have to choose between suffering and surgery.”
Kym wishes she had known about UFE so she could have made a better decision about her fibroid treatment. For her, like many women, a hysterectomy is a loss. “Our womb is where our femininity is housed; it is who we are. It is where we reproduce. I feel like something was taken from me as a woman,” Kym explains.
Spotlight on Fibroid Awareness
Kym Lee is advocating for fibroid disease to be recognized as an ongoing and widespread health condition to women. Kym believes that if more women understood what a fibroid diagnosis meant, and how common fibroids are, they would be better equipped to decide their treatment. Kym didn’t learn about UFE until partnering with USA Fibroid Centers as an ambassador. “I didn’t know anything about the treatment you offer. I never identified my fibroids with a disease. I feel like those words would’ve resonated with me differently and perhaps I would have gotten another opinion,” she says.
Kym is motivated to help other women learn about fibroid disease and the benefits of UFE. She is leading our “Talk About ‘U’” campaign, a live discussion series with other fibroid survivors and advocates that focuses on encouraging conversations about fibroids so women can be more informed about their symptoms and treatment options. “It is different hearing from someone who’s been through it. It’s important for the message to go out to as many people as possible so no one has to go through this ever again,” Kym says.
At USA Fibroid Centers, we want the conversation around fibroids to start with you. If your fibroids are causing you to suffer physically and emotionally like Kym was, we want you to know there’s hope. Request a consultation with one of our fibroid specialists to learn about how we can help you take back control of your life.