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NEW YORK, NY – February 14, 2017 – In 2016, lymphedema and lymphatic disease advocates from around the world came together to demand recognition of March 6 as World Lymphedema Day™. The United States Senate unanimously passed a bill establishing World Lymphedema Day. In addition, the New York Sate Senate and Assembly became the first state legislatures to establish the day, while Ottawa, Canada became the first municipality in the world to observe the day.
This year, efforts have been launched around the globe asking governments to recognize World Lymphedema Day and mount initiatives leading to cures. On February 7, 2017, Peshtigo, Wisconsin, became the first municipality of 2017 to pass a resolution officially declaring March 6 World Lymphedema Day in their community.
The 2nd annual World Lymphedema Day focuses on a worldwide effort to ask the World Health Organization (WHO) to make “Lymphedema: Awareness & Cures” its 2018 World Health Day Campaign. A petition started on Change.org has already garnered over 2,000 signatures and grows daily.
“While great strides have been made to raise the profile of LE (lymphedema), our community has a lot of catching up to do,” said William Repicci, Executive Director of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), which initiated World Lymphedema Day. “LE affects up to 150 million people worldwide – negatively impacting quality of life and resulting in disability, disfigurement, and social isolation – but it is largely under-recognized, under-diagnosed, under-treated, and under-funded. World Lymphedema Day is a growing movement that seeks to change that paradigm.”
Learn more about this movement at WorldLymphedemaDay.org and sign the petition to make “Lymphedema: Awareness & Cures” WHO’s 2018 World Health Day Campaign at Change.org.
Founded in 1998, the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (formerly LRF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization whose mission is to fight lymphatic disease and lymphedema through education, research and advocacy. LE&RN provides valuable educational resources for the millions of people who suffer from lymphedema and lymphatic disease. LE&RN fosters and supports research that can deepen the medical community's understanding of the lymphatic system. For more information about lymphatic disease or the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, visit www.LymphaticNetwork.org.