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Advocacy - Taking AIM

Advocacy - Taking AIM

People can survive the ‘what’ provided they know or have a ‘why’…” – Viktor Frankl

This blog focuses on the “why” for anyone living with lymphedema (LE), to take AIM…and advocate! I offer you heartfelt wishes of courage, encouragement plus perseverance. It’s always about “questions” especially when (or “IF”) “LE” becomes apparent in one’s life (“LIFE” is, poetically, squeezing a big IF into one’s permanent situation of LE). This blog invites people living with lymphedema to think about tangible, positive ways that, together, we can engage decision-makers plus action-takers to deliver attention, care, and support.

THE day, OUR day, is 6 March - World Lymphedema Day! Please check out the website here, and then do something (anything!) to help YOUR self, YOUR cause and, ultimately, YOUR community.

Aspiration, Inspiration, & Motivation or AIM.

The ultimate “Aspiration” is a cure(s) or at least a CURE, with “CURE” meaning a Complete Understanding with Research Exhausted. That is a laudable goal … and plan. 

With that aspiration in mind, one next needs “Inspiration.” For someone living with extremity(ies)-only LE, there are (in 2023) a myriad of persons/personalities upon whom to look for said “inspiration”. Whether on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) or from blogs, publication pieces or books, there is plenty from which to select someone from at least a somewhat similar situation for inspiration. 

For those of us with more complex presentations of LE and/or other lymphatic diseases (LD), such as yours truly, there is plenty of “inspiration” to be discovered but elsewhere, from the world of Lymphology. Yes, despite the fact that lymphology is not (yet) a recognized, certified medical specialty in North America and elsewhere, there are passionate, dedicated professionals in various disciplines of medicine, research and science who are “on the case”(OUR case!) …fortunately so! 

Now, as all successful communications pursuits deliver in threes, there is the all-important “Motivation.” While an “aspiration” is a good start, like “inspiration” leading to a plan of action that follows is also promising, one needs an internal driving force of “motivation” to keep things going! Important to note, however, is that unlike the often externally reliant inspiration to begin an effort, the complementary force to continue on one’s path comes from harnessing or channeling necessary drive and energy from within. 

Thank you. Good lymphatic health!

Stephen Kelland
Chair, LE&RN Canada Chapter