Chair, Australia Chapter
At the age of 13, Fleur developed Lymphoedema in her right leg. Initially diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, it was evident that further investigation was needed when the swelling was not going away after the DVT disappeared. After a 2-1/2 year journey that included seven vascular surgeons opinions across three states of Australia, Fleur was finally diagnosed with primary lymphedema (or LE as LE&RN has coined to unite the spelling). Fleur's LE became bi-lateral at age 18.
As a teenager and young adult, Fleur became an expert in dressing in such a way to "hide" her LE and spent many years dealing with the condition silently. Almost three decades later and now a mother of two young children, Fleur’s goal is to raise awareness of this chronic illness. She believes that self-advocacy is paramount and wants to empower others to do so.
Though Australia offers universal health care, the cost of compression garments can still be prohibitive and access to practitioners can be difficult in some circumstances. Yet Australia has some wonderful resources for patients. Fleur's aim is for this chapter is to provide these resources in AUS, as well as convey the important work that LE&RN is doing, to her fellow Australians.