Get Involved for Lymphedema Awareness Month + Giveaway

As many of you know, March is Lymphedema Awareness Month. Each year, BrightLife Direct supports the lymphedema community through advocacy, education, and giving back. This year, we are offering a $100 gift card to one lucky winner! You can find the rules and enter below.

What Is Lymphedema?

First, for those who are unfamiliar with lymphedema, here is some background information: Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that is characterized by swelling (edema), most commonly in the arms or legs. This condition affects over 100 million people worldwide, yet is still unknown to many doctors and patients. Some people are born with lymphedema, and others develop it after a surgical procedure, often following a breast cancer diagnosis.

Today, there is no cure for lymphedema. However, the lymphedema community has made great strides in awareness to bring this condition to light to find a cure. Award-winning actress, Kathy Bates, developed lymphedema after undergoing a mastectomy. She is now the face of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), sharing her story with the world to help others.

How Do You Manage Lymphedema?

Without proper management, lymphedema can become a debilitating disease. However, with manual lymph drainage (MLD), exercising, staying hydrated, and the regular use of wearing compression garments, swelling can be minimized. Many people with lymphedema struggle with the idea of having to wear compression stockings or armsleeves for life, but compression companies are listening and are making garments that are as comfortable and pleasing as possible.

Well-known compression brands like Jobst, Mediven, and Juzo, all offer compression garments in a wide range of sizes and styles in both the upper and lower extremities. For fashionistas, don’t you worry! There are tons of stylish armsleeves and stockings out there waiting for you. If you want a fun patterned armsleeve with a matching glove or gauntlet, LympheDivas has you covered. Choose from their ever-expanding range of patterns and colors to add some pizazz to your wardrobe. (Check out LympheDudes for men!) Juzo is also hip to fun colors and patterns as well. The Juzo Dream Collection offers new colors for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter in knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings and armsleeves. The Dream Collection is available in 15-20, 20-30, 30-40, and 40-50 mmHg in sheer, tie-dye, and opaque styles.

If you struggle to put on traditional compression garments, we have you covered as well. Compression wraps are a great alternative and are easy to put on. More and more people with lymphedema are turning to wraps for their ability to adjust compression levels and are able to accommodate swelling fluctuations. Therapists love them for their ability to fit like a custom garment at a ready-to-wear price. BiaCare, CircAid, Solaris, and Juzo, all offer fantastic wraps for the legs and arms. If you would like to learn more about these wraps, check out our Compression Wrap Catalog for more information.

BrightLife Direct understands the difficulty in finding the right garment. Between finding the right fabric or size, it can be an overwhelming process. Give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 and talk to our team of certified fitters to find the perfect garment for you. We are always happy to help you.

How Can You Get Involved In Lymphedema Awareness Month?

  • Local Events: Get involved in upcoming events. LE&RN has a ton of opportunities to get involved in your local community and online. Check out their website to find a chapter near you.
  • Online Advocacy: The lymphedema community is growing everyday. Join a Facebook group or search on Twitter and Instagram to connect with fellow lymphies! People from all over the world are sharing their journeys through blogs and social media to support one another.
  • March 6th is World Lymphedema Day. Share posts online and include #WLD2018 to show your support. Many cities all over the world will be lighting up landmarks in blue in honor of World Lymphedema Day.
  • Follow us on social media! This month, BrightLife will be sharing tons of educational information and tips for managing lymphedema. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Enter To Win Our Giveaway!

There are many ways to enter to win a $100 gift card. Your options are listed below. You can tweet your entry and comment on this blog post daily to better your chances of winning. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 6th, so make sure you are following BrightLife Direct on social media! The deadline to enter is Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 12:00am EST. Good luck everyone!

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Where Can I Find Support And Other Resources?

Learn more about CDT and MLD

Check out some awesome lymphedema blogs and communities

Join LE&RN to keep up with the latest lymphedema news and events

Browse compression garments to manage lymphedema

Stay up to date with the National Lymphedema Network (NLN)

The First World Lymphedema Day!

BrightLife Direct Supports World Lymphedema Day

We are so excited to share the highlights from the very first annual World Lymphedema Day. March 6 is dedicated to honor lymphedema patients and this year, this great day was made official by the US Government. World Lymphedema Day is meant to promote awareness to this condition and show appreciation to everyone who is affected by lymphedema. More than 150 million people suffer from lymphedema worldwide and it is time that we find a cure.

One of the leaders in lymphedema advocacy, the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), led the effort to officially dedicate March 6th as World Lymphedema Day. This organization strives to raise awareness and educate people about this condition and has worked side by side with Kathy Bates to get the voices of lymphedema patients heard.

Senators Chuck Schumer and Chuck Grassley introduced a Resolution to the US Senate to recognize March 6th as World Lymphedema Day. Many lymphedema patients shared their stories and talked about how they were celebrating the day, urging others to spread the message.

Many people are aware of the fight against cancer, but few know that many breast cancer survivors develop lymphedema as a result of treatment. Others are born with it. Lymphedema can develop in the arms or legs and symptoms range from mild to severe. With so many people suffering from this condition, it is surprising that so few doctors are aware of it. This results in many patients going un-diagnosed for much of their life, and their symptoms worsening without proper treatment.

March is Lymphedema Awareness Month. We urge you to take some time to learn more about lymphedema, talk about it with your friends and family, and see how you can help make a difference this month. To show our support, we are giving away one Juzo Soft compression garment of your choice! The winner can choose one of the following in any size, color and compression level: knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings, gauntlet, glove or armsleeve.

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Kathy Bates – “The Human Side” + Giveaway!

Kathy BatesAcademy Award winner Kathy Bates has earned 40 wins and 68 nominations including Emmys, Golden Globes and an Oscar. Over the past year, Kathy has taken on a new project – becoming the Lymphatic Education & Research Network’s (LE&RN) National Spokesperson. After being diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer, Kathy Bates underwent a bilateral mastectomy to remove 19 lymph nodes from her left armpit and three from right. She developed lymphedema shortly after and has to wear a compression armsleeve for the rest of her life unless a cure is found.

To help spread awareness of breast cancer and lymphedema this month, we are giving away an armsleeve each week. Check out the giveaway at the end of this post to enter for your chance to win.

Every day, Kathy connects with others suffering from lymphedema and their families by writing letters to thank them and comfort them. She has made great strides in building awareness and education. She recently spoke at a two-day NIH symposium that took place on September 29-30. Bill Repicci, Executive Director of LE&RN, believes that this conference is a turning point in the field of lymphatics.

In her speech, “Lymphedema: The Human Side,” Bates explains that she was shocked to find out that millions of people suffer from lymphatic diseases, not just breast cancer survivors. Many people are born with it or develop it later in life. With about 10 million Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide, it is surprising that most primary physicians haven’t heard of this condition. To make matters worse, many people are not even aware they have lymphedema and suffer in silence. Without treatment, lymphedema symptoms can get worse and infection may occur, which can cause serious complications.

Many doctors who are aware of lymphedema don’t understand the severity of the condition, brushing it off as a “cosmetic issue” or blame symptoms on obesity or other causes. One woman suffered for eight years before being diagnosed with stage 3 lymphedema. Another patient, Marie Apodaca, was told by her doctor that she had to lose weight. She wasn’t diagnosed until she was accidentally hit with a cardboard box on her leg, which caused a clear liquid to drain out of her leg instead of blood. After months of therapy, Marie was able to remove 35 lbs of lymph from her legs.

Managing symptoms is no walk in the park either. Finding a lymphedema therapist isn’t easy. Since there aren’t many, it can be hard to find one that’s available or is located in your area. This can result in long commutes, which can aggravate symptoms. Zalee Harris who suffers from severely swollen arms can’t get regular treatments because of a long waiting list, causing her to be in more pain.

LE&RN focuses on raising awareness and education, but even more so, encouraging people to stop hiding their condition and share their story. Kathy took the Face of Lymphedema Challenge to inspire people to find comfort by sharing stories and to know they’re not alone. Dancer Pearl-Ann Hinds developed LE and decided to choreograph a dance dedicated to lymphedema called “Hello World.” She says “If I continued to hide the reality, the power to change the legs of future generations would be lost.”

Seven-year-old Emma Detlefsen was born with lymphedema in both legs and often battles infections that cause her to be hospitalized. This inspiring seven-year-old appeared before the NY State Legislator last year and convinced lawmakers to pass a bill for research funding that had been languishing for 12 years. She was awarded with the LE&RN Youth Ambassador Award on September 19th at the 5K Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases on the Brooklyn Bridge. Kathy hopes that by bringing Emma’s message to us, it can inspire “even one of us” to accomplish her challenge and hopes you will join the fight for education and research.

Mediven Harmony Armsleeve Giveaway

bld-harmony-giveaway-pinterest For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, each week we will be giving away a compression armsleeve. Every week, we will feature a different brand. This week, you can win a Mediven Harmony armsleeve in your choice of compression level, size and color. To enter, log in with your email address or Facebook information below. Then, choose how you would like to enter: You can answer a question, leave a comment about the blog post, follow us on Twitter or tweet a message. To tweet the message, click the “Tweet” button then go to your profile. Click on the timestamp on the tweet and paste the url in the box below. Click here for more help. Good luck!! Remember, you can enter once (per entry type) every day. The contest for the Mediven Harmony armsleeve ends Friday, October 16th at midnight. The winner will be announced the following Monday. Don’t forget to check back next week for our next giveaway!


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Kathy Bates – Official Website Kathy Bates’ Secret Health Struggle – The Doctors “How I Turned My Lymphedema Into Something Positive” – People Magazine Kathy Bates Awards and Nominations Kathy Bates on Larry King Kathy Bates Hosts the American Cancer Society Ball Lymph Nodes and Cancer – American Cancer Society Hello World – Lymphedema Dance by Pearl-Ann Hinds Emma’s Youth Ambassador Award Acceptance Speech Key Speakers from the NIH Conference in DC