Co-Chair, California Chapter
Sarah is a mom, advocate, and caregiver for her son Grayson who was born in 2016 with primary lymphedema in his hands, legs, and feet. During the first months with Grayson, Sarah and her husband struggled to find a diagnosis/cause and the proper treatment protocol for an infant with lymphedema. As they researched, they stumbled upon LE&RN. Through LE&RN, Sarah hopes to help raise awareness about lymphedema, welcome other families who are new to lymphedema so they know they are not alone in this battle, and offer them an understanding of the treatments, resources and support groups available to them and their children.
Emily Iker, M.D.
Co-Chair, California Chapter
Dr. Emily Iker is a director of Lymphedema Center in Santa Monica for over two decades since MLD certification, from Prof. Albert Leduc, the world-renowned lymphologist. She is the leader in diagnosis, treatment and management of lymphedema not only on scientific level but understands lymphedema on personal level. She developed secondary lymphedema during her surgical residency which was the turning point leading her into PM&R at New York Medical College. She is a lymphology researcher, lecturer, teacher and mentor. She is a member of ISL, ESL, American College of Phlebology, Czech and Slovak lymphological society and NLN. In addition to her busy clinical medical practice and research involvement, she is a happy mother of twins.
Vice Chair, CA Chapter
Barbara developed secondary lymphedema in her left leg shortly after finishing medical treatment for cervical cancer in 2012. Not knowing why her leg was swelling her husband searched online “leg swelling after cancer”. Lymphedema was at the top of the browser’s results. She then went online and found LE&RN along with a few online support groups. Realizing she was not alone in this fight against lymphedema, Barbara has become determined to do all she can to help herself and others suffering from this disease. She was fortunate enough to be chosen for a recent drug trial at Stanford University under the supervision of Dr. Stanley Rockson for those suffering from lymphedema. She hopes one day it will benefit all and is looking forward to the possibility of being able to volunteer for phase 3 in the future. She hopes that doctors and scientists continue to research and develop ways to help, whether it is developing new drugs or new surgeries. By volunteering her time she hopes to help others make their way through the struggles and hurdles that come with living with lymphedema (LE) and lymphatic diseases (LD). She is grateful for LE&RN’s passion and leadership, helping all those affected by LE/LD and is excited to be part of the LE&RN Family.
Secretary, CA Chapter
Shortly after surgery for metastatic melanoma in 2000, Judy developed lymphedema in her left leg. Although her surgeon warned her that the deep inguinal node dissection would result in lymphedema, she was unaware of the lack of available treatment, services, and support for this condition.
For Judy, one of the most distressing aspects of lymphedema was giving up road and mountain biking. In 2003, she helped establish the Los Angeles Pink Dragons, the first cancer survivor dragon boat racing team in California. In 2013, she found her true passion: ocean racing with a local outrigger canoe club. Judy firmly believes that keeping active is critical to managing lymphedema. Her inspiration is Dr. Donald McKenzie, the Canadian doctor who first dispelled the myth about exercise and lymphedema. He showed that strenuous exercise, if preceded by training, does not cause lymphedema. https://asianfocusnc.org/interview-dr-don-mckenzie-father-breast-cancer-survivor-dragon-boat-racing/
An active participant in online and in-person support groups, it was the 2018 LE&RN California Chapter walk that inspired Judy to become a lymphedema activist; working to educate medical professionals, patients, and the general public about lymphedema and lymphatic diseases. Recognizing that development is key to providing the resources and research LE&RN offers, Judy is committed to assisting the LE&RN California Chapter in increasing participation and fundraising for the LE&RN CA Run/Walk in Santa Monica each year in June.