Wisconsin Chapter Co-Chair
Cindy developed secondary lymphedema only a few years ago after treatment for breast cancer and she soon realized from all the questions she received about her arm, that there needed to be increased awareness about lymphedema. She also found that insurance companies did not adequately cover the compression garments and other forms of treatment and began advocating for herself and others by joining the Lymphedema Advocacy Group and working towards passage of the Lymphedema Treatment Act. By reaching out to other patients in the lymphatic community, Cindy discovered it helped her cope with the condition, and she realized she truly enjoyed educating others and learning as much as she could about lymphatic disorders. Then one day, a fellow patient and friend in Connecticut introduced her to LE&RN, and what a great resource for information it was. Cindy’s hope is to inspire others with lymphatic disorders to advocate for themselves regarding treatment and insurance coverage.
Wisconsin Chapter Co-Chair
Rebecca is a lymphedema advocate and patient, diagnosed with primary lymphedema at age 19. First signs of this condition were at the age of 10. Misdiagnosed for 9 years, she got limited care or explanation of what the disease was it how to maintain it to keep it manageable. Researching on her own and many doctors and therapists later, she is in the beginning of getting proper care. During her own research she found LE&RN, began advocating and raising awareness for lymphedema and lymphatic diseases. Her passion is to bring more medical care and awareness to areas all around Wisconsin and the United States.
Wisconsin Chapter Youth Ambassador
Ten-year old 5th grader, Alaina Archambault from Peshtigo WI is a passionate advocate for LE&RN and lymphedema (LE) and lymphatic diseases (LD). Her mother Rebecca, has primary lymphedema that affects her entire body. Alaina is a fun, spunky girl with big hopes for LE & LD. Her hopes are earlier and accurate diagnosis and better medical care. She doesn't want any person with LE or LD to be ashamed, feel alone, or frustrated. She also knows that soon the day will come that everyone will know about LE and recognize it as a disease. When Alaina is not advocating for LE & LD her hobbies are; drawing, Taekwondo, reading, dancing, watching old movies like "Singing in the Rain," and acting in stage plays.
Alaina has many accomplishments since starting her advocacy just one short year ago. She had attended meetings and written letters with Congressmen and Senators to discuss her concerns on issues related to LE. She not only helped World Lymphedema Day 2017 get recognized by the city of Peshtigo, WI, she also worked with her principal to organize a Learning Day at school to educate the students about LE on March 6th 2017. On that day, her mother came to her classroom to tell her story of living with LE and to answer questions. She entered the school science fair with a project titled, "Your Lymphatics, How it Works and What Happens When It Doesn't." She received a first place prize. The video of her demonstration to the judges had 12,500+ views and 200+ shares on social media. She is organizing a special project with her Principal and her peers for LE&RN WI 2ND Annual Run/Walk on October 7th in Peshtigo, WI. " I love to do this (advocate), it makes others have better lives." Alaina said. "I want people to pay attention." She has a heart of gold, a dimpled smile to melt your heart, and a plan to change the world.