Raising Awareness About Lymphoedema

March is Lymphoedema Awareness Month

This year, the ALA is focussing its attention during Lymphoedema Awareness Month to knowing the signs of lymphoedema.   Accredited Practitioners will know only too well that many people do not have their lymphoedema diagnosed for some time, which can lead to the condition becoming quite advanced as well as having increased infections and other complications as a result.

With early diagnosis, assessment, intervention and treatment, this chronic condition can be more easily managed and the quality of life improved.

As the ALA advocates in the 2019 position paper on the early detection of breast cancer-related lymphoedema (here) -  education, early assessment and intervention for lymphoedema will lead to better outcomes for the patient.

A poster 'Know the signs of lymphoedema' can be downloaded below.  There is also a supporting pamphlet which can be given to patients, with a download link below.

The ALA will be sending a poster and pamphlets to medical centres where there are patients who may be at an increased risk of developing lymphoedema, such as cancer centres.

If you would like additional copies of the poster or pamphlets sent to you, please email execofficer@lymphoedema.org.au 

The ALA will also be sharing stories of those who live with, or work with lymphoedema.  These will be shared via the ALA facebook page, we encourage you to share these stories with your own networks.

Members may also be interested in a video of Kathy Bates, national spokesperson for the Lymphedema Education and Research Network in the US - raising awareness of lymphoedema.  A link to the video can be found here

During Lymphoedema Awareness Month, the ALA will be sharing stories for those either living with lymphoedema or working in the field.

  • Miranda is an ALA Accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner working in a Brisbane Hospital.  You can read about Miranda's story here.
     
  • Kylie noticed swelling in her daughter's feet soon after she was born.  Despite her concerns, medical advice was the swelling would just go away.  It didn't.  You can read about Kylie and Memphis' story here.
     
  • Madeleine is a young woman with primary lymphoedema which was diagnosed around the age of 15.  She is a teacher, and pregnant with her first child.  As a teenager, it was difficult to deal with responses to her condition, and she still finds that most people do not know what lymphoedema is.  You can read Madeleine's story here.
     
  • Grant had a long complicated cancer journey.  He felt a 'stretching' sensation in his leg, and was diagnosed with lymphoedema not long after.  You can read Grant's story here.
     
  • Heather was aware of lymphoedema, as her niece had the condition.  As soon as her baby, Addison, was born, she knew she had it too.  Addison is now five and just started school.  Growing up with lymphoedema brings new challenges.  Here is Heather and Addison's story.

 

ALA member, Sarah, who you may have seen waving the lymphoedema flag on ABC's Hard Quiz has now been interviewed by ABC Central Victoria radio informing listeners about lymphoedema during lymphoedema awareness month.  Click on the image below to hear her interview.

  Fiona Parker, ABC Radio (left) and Sarah Gill, ALA Accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner (right)

 

World Lymphoedema Day in 2020: Friday 6 March - the ALA is hosting a free webinar for members.  Please find details here

2020 Reference Material

Resources to download

Lymphoedema Awareness Month A3 Poster
 

Lymphoedema Awareness Pamphlet - know the early warning signs


World Lymphoedema Day Icon


Lymphoedema Research - Tax Deductible Donation Form
 

ALA Members, you will receive a lymphoedema awareness month poster with your February edition of Lymph Exchange.

 

# Support the ALA's campaign to Put lymphoedema on the list

For more information on the Put lymphoedema on the list campaign, click HERE


# Host an awareness or fundraising event on Friday 6 March 2020 - or during the month of March

Organise a lymphoedema get together with support groups, patients, workplaces and local treatment centres. Host an event that provides opportunities for practitioners and carers and patients to share their stories, make sure you take lots of photos.

Some ideas for your event might include:

  • Host a morning tea at your practice 
  • Hold a therapeutic exercise or a yoga session to raise awareness and invite your patients and the media
  • Ask people at your event to put on a garment or try their hand at multi-layer bandaging
  • Research how much lymphoedema management costs every month and ask your guests to write a list of things they would prefer to do with this money

After your event don’t forget to:

  • Post an image of your event on social media #lymphoedemaawareness
  • Email your event photos and a small report to Judy Gouldbourn at execofficer@lymphoedema.org.au


# Contact your local media with a press release and encourage them to cover your Lymphoedema Awareness Event

Research to find local media, draw up a list of the media outlets you want to target and find the most relevant contact:

If you are going to invite the media to your event, think about a hook, make sure the story that you are going to tell grabs the journalist’s attention and reinforce the photo opportunity i.e. a room full of people on pumps, a yoga session with everyone in light blue.  Contact the media outlets before you want them to publish and follow up your initial email with a phone call.
 

# Raise Money for Research

Money raised will be used to support our research endeavours - please download and complete this form to remit donations.