World Lymphedema Awareness Day

learnawarenessHappy Lymphedema Awareness Day!

Today is a day for us to join together and use our voices not only to spread awareness about lymphedema, but to celebrate our amazing community.

Established by the National Lymphedema Network in 1994, Lymphedema Awareness Day is specially designated to honor lymphedema patients and our health care providers.  It’s also a day for us to raise our voice, let the world know that we’re here, and that we deserve treatment, insurance coverage, and support for this condition.

Lymphedema affects millions of people worldwide and can be caused by injury, trauma, or congenital defects in the lymphatic system. Despite the numbers, lymphedema goes largely unrecognized, especially by doctors and insurance companies. Oftentimes a patient can remain undiagnosed and untreated for years (like I did!).

Lymphedema sucks! Even if people notice that one limb is larger than another they have no idea the impact Lymphedema has on everyday life. Many of us put on long skirts, loose pants, or long sleeves and a big smile on our faces, hiding the effort it took to look presentable. There are also many with Lymphedema who experience pain and when cellulitis, this can impact our plans, social engagements, and everyday life. People with Invisible Illnesses, like lymphedema, often do not get the support or understanding they need. All of us with lymphedema need to speak out and share our stories to bring understanding to this little known illness…Lets make lymphedema less invisible.

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