Yesterday (for the third year in a row) I participated in the 2016 NY Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Disease. The walk benefits the Lymphatic Education & Research Network–an organization based in NYC that promotes education, research, and advocacy for lymphatic disease.
LE&RN is a fantastic organization that is working hard to raise awareness about lymphedema. Below are a few of the highlights of what they’re doing:
- For a condition with very little public recognition, in 2014 LE&RN put a public face to the condition by securing Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates as their spokesperson (I believe she is the first celebrity to openly talk about having lymphedema)
- At this very moment they have a $70 million request in front of US Senate appropriations committee to fund lymphatic research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- This year LE&RN passed legislation to make March 6 World Lymphedema Day
- In 2015 LE&RN established their first state chapters; in 2016 they established their first international chapters
EDUCATION & RESEARCH
- Free live stream symposium series featuring the world’s leading experts
- Scholarships to young researchers and lymphedema therapists
- The LE&RN National Lymphatic Disease & Lymphedema Patient Registry & Tissue Bank
- NIH collaboration and research funding initiatives
- “Lymphatic Research & Biology” (the world’s only peer review lymphatic journal)
This year I joined fundraising forces with one my lymphie friends I met through the blogosphere: Alexa from The Lymphie Life!
The walk traverses the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge and back.
I walked with my lymphie bestie Jen (she’s in the photo above) and her crew. We actually met at the gym in a spinning class. I went up to her after class and sheepishly asked her…do you have lymphedema? And the rest is history 😉
She has such an incredibly supportive group of friends! I loved sharing the day with them.
I also met a new friend to me, Nicole! She is an incredibly warm soul that faces life head on with the biggest smile on her face. She might have lymphedema in both legs and her left arm, but she certainly doesn’t let it stop her!
And it definitely didn’t hurt that it was a gorgeous sunny fall day!!