There's a scene in HBO's Girls when one of the series' central figures, Hannah Horvath, takes up running to help her face the challenges in her life.
In a way, art seems to be imitating life for the creator and star, Lena Dunham, who has been battling endometriosis as long as she's been in the spotlight. However, like everything else she advocates for behind the scenes, the 30-year-old Golden Globe winner decided she wasn't going to brush her health under the rug anymore.
"Throughout my working life, adrenaline has always carried me through the moments when illness truly wasn't an option—oh, hello, diarrhea before David Letterman. I'm sure that's the case for many women —mothers, executives, Rockettes," she described in a November 2015 article for Lenny Letter in which she thoroughly described the path to her diagnosis. "I ignored the messages my body was sending to me in favor of productivity, attempting to prove my resilience. But that was getting harder, and soon I found myself in a hotel room in Amsterdam, knees pulled to my chest, unable to continue my book tour."
By the new year, endometriosis had taken its toll once again on the actress, striking so hard she canceled all of her press for the forthcoming fifth season of the show.