Will Miles is a young man living with lymphatic disease. We asked him to tell us what it's like to live with primary lymphedema and to encourage you to give to our annual appeal.
My name is Will Miles and I’m a 25-year-old from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. When I was 5 years old, I was diagnosed with primary lymphedema after a year of trying to find the cause of the mysterious swelling in my foot and ankle. I spent my childhood managing my treatment the best I could, primarily through MLD (manual lymph drainage massage) and compression garments. As an active young kid who loved to play baseball, basketball, and golf, this was a tough reality, but I learned to stick to my treatment plan and it kept my lymphedema mostly under control. I stuck with golf due to it being the least taxing on my legs and upon graduating from high school, I received a scholarship to play for the University of South Carolina.
My four years at USC were amazing, but they did not go without some challenges from lymphedema. I had numerous hospitalizations for cellulitis infections, ranging from three days to a week. At the end of my four years I racked up two collegiate wins and was named Golfweek All-American honorable mention as well as Second Team All-SEC. The summer after graduating, I had the first of two surgeries in Boston at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with Dr. Dhruv Singhal and his team. This debulking procedure helped improve the size of my legs and reduce the chance of infections. Fortunately, post-surgery I haven’t had any infections and have seen a great improvement in my legs. I will always be grateful to Dr. Singhal and his team for their work and research to help me and others with lymphedema live a better life with this disease. And I will always be grateful to LE&RN for connecting me with Dr. Singhal and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a LE&RN Center of Excellence.
Upon graduating from USC, I turned professional and have continued to chase my dream of making it to golf’s top stage, the PGA Tour. I also got married last year to my wife, Sarah. Along the way, I hope to use this platform to raise awareness for people living with lymphedema. I continue to support LE&RN for this very reason. My mom has also been very active with LE&RN and currently serves on the board of directors. I know LE&RN will continue to raise awareness, dollars, and advocate for people with lymphedema and fight for a better quality of life and eventually a cure for this disease! I hope that you will support LE&RN too.
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 CureLymph.org, 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.