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Michelle Donnelly tells her story for LE&RN’s Annual Appeal

Michelle Donnelly tells her story for LE&RN’s Annual Appeal

LE&RN recently spoke to Michelle Donnelly, a young woman in the UK living with lymphatic disease. We asked her to tell us what it's like to live with a lymphatic disease, and why it's important to support LE&RN.

After numerous tests, surgeries, and years of no answers, Michelle was finally diagnosed with a lymphatic disease. She discovered there is something wrong with her lymphatic system which causes painful and spontaneous swelling in her abdominal region. Initially, finding someone who specializes in lymphatics seemed impossible. 

Over the years, she has endured many struggles, including having to give up activities she had previously enjoyed. She has also gained vast knowledge of her lymphatic system and how it affects her life. "I often knew more about my own disease than the doctors who were in charge of my care," said Michelle. "I have too often educated doctors about my lymphatic disease."

Michelle reached out to LE&RN and was put in contact with a LE&RN Center of Excellence in the UK. The experts at that Center consulted with colleagues at a Center of Excellence in the US, and the two teams collaborated to come up with a treatment plan to improve Michelle's health and life. 

Michelle would like people to know "lymphatic diseases are not rare diseases. We need more support and funding for research around the world, and I hope that others will support LE&RN in its important work."

We are fortunate to have a family impacted by lymphatic disease generously pledging a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $83,000. That means your donation will go twice as far as we move forward in achieving our shared vision and goals. 

You can give safely and securely at, or send your donation in the mail to our mailing address:

99 Wall Street, #5440 
New York, NY 10005

When you make a contribution to the 2022 LE&RN Annual Appeal, you will receive early access to Lymphatic Disease: The Clinician/Patient Interface in State-of-the-Art Diagnosis and Management prior to the virtual summit becoming available to the general public on March 6, for World Lymphedema Day.