Pinckney, MI

I was 14 when I noticed my ankle was swelling after playing basketball and, despite doctors appointments, tests, and physiotherapy, it did not go away. About 8 months later, the other ankle swelled and I was on my way to see a specialist who diagnosed me with primary lymphedema. There was one or two paragraphs of information on it and NO support whatsoever. My saving grace was that my legs just "looked puffy" as I was very active.

Fast forward 20 years (I was about 35) and I got my first bout of severe cellulitis that landed me in the hospital for about a week! Since then the left leg is larger than the right and no longer am I a Respiratory Therapist because it was too much to be on my feet all day. Oh the throbbing. Now I'm 50 and still not as bad off as most, but after that infection I was introduced to a lymphedema support team at University of Michigan Hospital which is where I obtained my flat knit stockings, pumps and other supportive wear. I'm very stable and have only had a couple more bouts of minor cellulitis so I'm grateful.

Since finding this amazing support system online I have learned so much and count my blessings. I always say: I can walk every day, just not well. No one understands the exhaustion your legs feel. But in any case, I still aim high and was able to enjoy an amazing 50th birthday trip to hiking the mountains in Alberta last summer with my camera in tow! My husband and best friends were my support and my girlfriend snapped a photo of me showing a good day! Every step I took was for my fellow "Lymphies." God bless those with it and those studying it, treating it, and fighting for the cure to it!