This May, something extraordinary is happening.
On Friday, May 11, LE&RN Spokesperson Kathy Bates will lead a contingent of LE&RN activists on a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. Together, we will demand lawmakers set aside research dollars for lymphedema and lymphatic disease research. The next day, May 12, we gather at the Lincoln Memorial for the inaugural DC/VA Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases. Ms. Bates will address participants and supporters, kicking off this historic event.
Since announcing #DCLobbyDay and #DCLymphWalk, advocates have asked how best to support these efforts. So here it is:
1. Sign up for #DCLobbyDay. To register for this day of lobbying on Capitol Hill, just email your full name and address to LE&RN at LERN@LymphaticNetwork.org. Our group will meet at 8:30 a.m. for a breakfast reception hosted by LE&RN President & CEO William Repicci and LE&RN Spokesperson Kathy Bates. We'll receive training on how to make our day effective and then we'll be off to see our Congressional representatives. Your voice and presence will be crucial in our success.
2. Sign up for #DCLymphWalk. Signing up for the DC/VA Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases is easy. Just visit www.LymphWalk.org. Click on DC & VA Walk. Click Create a Page. Enter your information and choose whether you'd like to form your own team or join an existing team. Share your fundraising page with family and friends. Finally, meet us at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, May 12, at 8 a.m. to be part of this inaugural Walk.
3. Support #DCLobbyDay on social media. Comment on social media posts about #DCLobbyDay and send the message that you support lymphatic research and advocacy.
4. Support #DCLobbyDay by contacting your Congressional representatives. Call or write your Congressperson and Senators. Tell them you support dedicated NIH funding for lymphedema and lymphatic research. Let them know that you are with the LE&RN advocates, whether in person or in spirit.
5. Support #DCLymphWalk by funding a team. Not everyone can make it to DC to walk. But we encourage everyone to pick a team and give a donation, of any size. Just visit the DC/VA #LymphWalk page and make a donation by clicking "Give Now." Show our Walkers you are with them.
6. Support #DCLymphWalk on social media. Help us get the word out about #DCLymphWalk by sharing www.LymphWalk.org on your social media. Tell us you are "interested" in the Walk on the #DCLymphWalk Facebook event page and share the page on your social media.
7. Be a hashtag activist. We intend to see #DCLobbyDay and #DCLymphWalk trend on social media. Help these efforts by using these hashtags on whatever platforms you use.
8. Wear your #LymphWalk t-shirt when you get home. Every Walk participant will receive a teal Walk t-shirt. Wear it with pride in DC and when you get home. Let people know that you walked with Kathy Bates and LE&RN to raise awareness and funding at the Lincoln Memorial.
9. Share your #DCLobbyDay and #DCLymphWalk photos on social media. We want the world to see what our community can do when it comes together and demands change.
10. Stay involved. #DCLobbyDay and #DCLymphWalk are big events. But our commitment won't stop there. Getting the answers we know are out there will require followup with our representatives, involvement with local LE&RN Chapters, and ongoing efforts to raise awareness. And, of course, be sure you are a LE&RN Member. We will be committed until we find cures for lymphedema and lymphatic diseases.