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To have and to hold, part 2: Marcellus woman launches menopause Facebook groups

Pictured are Jerry and Susan Garritillo.

Pictured are Jerry and Susan Garritillo. Cheryl Seligman

Susan had been looking at a different menopause Facebook page a few months ago, through which she found a community in need of a more heartfelt, less generic destination for women to chat about their experiences.

She started Menopause Chat on April 29, where she began introducing a topic of the day and posting inspirational images.

“I had a few girls approach me on there saying they wished that they had a place that they could go where they could talk and not have their friends see if they wanted to just vent,” Susan said. Consequently, she started Boomer Bitches, now called Boomer Bitches and Babes, on May 3.

“That is a private group — you can’t even find that one on Facebook unless I personally invite you or somebody that is a member finds you,” she said.

Along with a number of events for group members, one of the big hits in Boomer Bitches and Babes has been a book club, Susan said. Every month the members read a new book and discuss it in the group.

Also, “people will rant,” she added. “If they want to rant they put ‘Rant Warning,’ and then they list their problem. … It’s almost like a neighborhood of old-fashioned 50s women getting together and having coffee and chatting and supporting each other. That’s what it’s like, and it’s a wonderful feel.”

Susan started the third group, Men o Pause Anonymous, on May 17 because a few ladies wished their husbands could be more understanding. In this third group, members dig into various topics related to menopause and discuss all kinds of symptoms.

“Not only are women experiencing menopause, men are experiencing andropause [a testosterone deficiency with similar effects], and we cover those also,” she said, noting that there are about 20 men in the group.

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