Happy Wednesday! Not only are we halfway through the week, but we’re also halfway to World Lymphedema Day on March 6th—hooray! I’ve been having so much fun putting these posts together and I’m glad to see such a huge response from you all. Keep commenting, keep sharing, keep reposting so that we can keep this important conversation about lymphedema and the need for awareness going!
World Lymphedema Day is just a few days away, and there have already been some major things happening for lymphedema awareness. Yesterday, the New York State legislature became the first governing body in the United States to recognize World Lymphedema Day on March 6th. Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Martin J. Golden sponsored this historic Resolution at the request of the Lymphatic Education and Research Network, and it was read in the Assembly and Senate at the Albany Statehouse.
In addition to the reading of the Resolution, the New York State legislature also honored five-year-old Nicholas Hernandez of Riverhead, NY, as a LE&RN Youth Ambassador in recognition of the advocacy work he and his family have done for lymphedema research and awareness. Congratulations, Nicholas and family!!
Amazing, right? Well, it doesn’t stop there!
Last week, US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and US Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) submitted a Resolution in the US Senate in a bipartisan effort to get March 6, 2016, declared as the inaugural World Lymphedema Day across the United States.
According to a press release from LE&RN earlier this morning, the Resolution includes a call-to-action for the people of the United States to support “each courageous individual living and coping with lymphedema” as well as “each caregiver, whether a professional or not a professional, of each individual afflicted with lymphedema.”
The World Lymphedema Day Resolution is scheduled to be voted on this week, so if you can, please call or email the Senators in your respective states to encourage them to pass this Resolution and give lymphedema the attention it deserves!
I don’t need to tell you all how amazing it would be for this Resolution to go through, but I’m gonna say it anyway: It would be amazing for this Resolution to go through!! To have a day dedicated to lymphedema awareness on this level would bring about the global response we need to push for more research and the development of new treatments.
If you haven’t yet, please sign the World Lymphedema Day petition on Change.org and share it with family and friends. As of this writing, the petition has 4,140 signatures—a little more than eight hundred signatures are needed before reaching the goal of 5,000 supporters. We can totally do this!! The petition will be sent to the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, global leaders, and the White House to urge for the declaration of March 6th as World Lymphedema Day, and to make lymphedema and lymphatic diseases a global health priority.
The implications of a globally-recognized World Lymphedema Day are huge: it could ensure that medical professionals are properly educated about lymphedema so that patients are diagnosed earlier and more accurately. It could lead to better insurance coverage and accessibility to treatment. It could improve the quality of life of the millions of us living with lymphedema across the world.
And it could finally, finally get our voices heard.
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!