March 6th is World Lymphedema Day, and with your support we can get this recognized on a global level and bring much-needed attention to the fight against lymphedema and lymphatic disease—and the fight for better healthcare and improved quality of life for the millions of men, women, and children living with lymphedema!
The following is a press release issued by the Lymphatic Education & Research Network.
World Lymphedema Day™ Galvanizes Growing Movement:
Lymphedema and lymphatic disease advocates band together for awareness and action
NEW YORK, NY – February 10, 2016 – Lymphedema and lymphatic disease advocates from around the world have come together to promote World Lymphedema Day™, March 6. Historically, Lymphedema Awareness Day has been recognized on this day in various communities in the United States. This date will now take on greater prominence as a global event to raise awareness, to take action, and to celebrate the solidarity of the lymphedema and lymphatic disease communities around the world.
“Great attention is paid to the battle against cancer. Yet, most people haven’t heard of lymphedema, which cancer frequently leaves in its wake,” said William Repicci, Executive Director of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, which is spearheading efforts to promote World Lymphedema Day. “We hear little of the children born with lymphatic malformations or those who inherit lymphedema. There is silence on the issue of wounded war veterans, civilian casualties, and others who suffer from lymphedema due to physical trauma or as a result of surgery. Too many who suffer feel alone.”
It is this sense of isolation and feeling of invisibility that World Lymphedema Day seeks to change. A petition, which calls for World Lymphedema Day recognition from governments and governmental bodies, has been posted on Change.org. Within days, thousands of people from around the world had signed and the number of supporters grows daily.
Already making progress!
New York legislature will become the first governing body in the United States to recognize World Lymphedema Day on Tuesday, March 1, when a Resolution will be read at the Albany Statehouse. The Senate and Assembly will also be honoring five-year-old Nicholas Hernandez of Riverhead, New York, as a LE&RN Youth Ambassador. Nicholas was born with a primary lymphatic disease and has become an advocate for lymphedema awareness and research alongside his parents, Enabel and Christina, through fundraising and by developing a network of supporters. Congratulations, Nicholas and family!!
In a recent press release on the Resolution, William Repicci said:
“World Lymphedema Day grew out of an international ‘call to action. LE&RN led the charge with an international petition at Change.org, which has garnered thousands of signatures, and through local action in New York State with the World Lymphedema Day Resolution, being adopted this Tuesday. The movement was originally inspired by National Lymphedema Awareness Day, which has been recognized in the US, Canada, and Australia. Advocates recognized that now was the time for a global response.”
This is an amazing start, but we need to keep this momentum going and continue bringing attention to the cause. Awareness, education, and research of lymphedema and lymphatic diseases need to become global health priorities so that the research and development of new treatments and better health coverage may follow. A large part of this progress depends on our involvement and advocacy efforts!
Support World Lymphedema Day
There are a number of ways you can help support World Lymphedema Day and show your solidarity! In addition to signing and sharing the petition, you can add a banner to your social media profile photos, or post your support on Twitter. These seemingly small gestures can inspire meaningful conversation about lymphedema and the need for awareness!
You can also support lymphatic research by donating to one of the research organizations, such as the Lymphatic Education & Research Network or the National Lymphedema Network, or by getting involved in the upcoming Lymphedema Lobby Days in D.C. this April.
Check out last year’s post for even more ideas on how to promote lymphedema awareness!
Keep checking back for more helpful information about lymphedema and lymphedema awareness throughout the week as we get closer to establishing the first-annual World Lymphedema Day on March 6th!