AN artist from the South West is on a mission to raise awareness for an overlooked medical condition.

Niki Etheridge is on a journey to raise awareness and funds for those experiencing the condition, endometriosis, with her most recent event taking place in Launceston.

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. 

The condition can affect women of any age, including teenagers. It's a long-term condition that can have a significant impact on your life, but there are treatments that can help. 

For the last 12 years, Niki has struggled with the condition however, the road to her diagnosis was not a simple one.  

Speaking to the Post, she explained: “After being fobbed off by doctors seven years ago, stating "you need to lose weight, you shouldn't be in this much pain as the endometriosis is minimal”. I begged for a second opinion and to see a specialist.   

“After waiting three more years, I went for my fourth surgery to investigate further in February 2024, I was then diagnosed with adenomyosis, where the endometriosis has started to migrate into the muscle of the lining of my womb, so now I'm waiting to have a hysterectomy. 

“This is something I requested years ago but was denied on the NHS.”  

This is an experience that many of those experiencing the condition are facing and has prompted much criticism of medical professionals. In 2019, director Alice Seabright – who has also contributed to hit Netflix series Sex Education – produced a short film, End-O, detailing the difficulties women are facing while seeking medical assistance to aid their condition.  

Due to her experience, Niki believes that the condition needs a spotlight on it. She said: “I think doctors should be more prepared to believe that people know their own bodies!  

“I think the word is getting out there a bit more, but it still needs to be discussed and taught at schools for young girls who may be struggling.  A period should never be painful, uncomfortable yes, but not painful.  I can understand the struggle that the NHS have though, this condition produces symptoms similar to other conditions and is so difficult to see in a scan. So, they try to rule out other problems first, which takes years.”  

Now, on a mission to raise awareness for the condition, Niki has taken to channeling her talents as a force for good.  

Working as an artist for the last 10 years, she began bodypainting as a hobby, though her enjoyment and skills grew more and more as she delved further into her art.  

For the last seven years, Niki has been challenging herself to complete a body painting piece in only three hours in order to raise money for charity.  

Most recently, Niki took to Launceston to tackle 2024’s task. Despite having to postpone the event due to her surgery, Niki was still determined to complete the challenge.  

Niki explained: “I have made a campaign every March since 2017. This year I had to postpone the campaign to June as I was still recovering from my last surgery in March, which is the awareness month.  

“This year’s theme was "Beehive”. Over lockdown I took to my own face and painted a theme everyday throughout March to post on social media. I did the same last year with a 31-day lip art challenge to raise awareness, as I'd just moved to Devon and couldn't arrange an event in time.”  

The event aimed to raise awareness and raise money for Endometriosis UK, the UK’s leading charity for those affected by endometriosis. 

The charity works to break down barriers to access - whether information, treatment or support - wherever endometriosis impacts on lives. 

However, despite Niki’s experience, taking on a full body paint in only three hours is no mean feat.  

Cornwall Endometriosis Campaigner
2024's design theme was Beehive (Picture: Andy Davis Photography) ( Andy Davis Photography )

She explained: “I only got as far as painting her upper body, front and back. The challenge I created involves only using brushes and a sponge, no airbrushing.  But it can take up to seven hours to paint a full body, so I think I did pretty well.” 

Cornwall Endometriosis Campaigner
Niki's finished work after three hours of painting (Picture: Andy Davis Photography) ( Andy Davis Photography )

Not only was the event a force for good, but also a fun time for all involved.  

She continued: “It was so much fun! We had a band perform on the day, a photographer joined us and we received some lovely prizes from local businesses for our raffle.”  

Through the raffle alone, more than £230 was raised for the cause and Niki hopes more donations are still on the way, with her JustGiving page still open.  

To make a donation to Niki’s fundraiser for Endometriosis UK, visit:  

And for more information about endometriosis and adenomyosis, visit Endometriosis UK’s website: