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Fundraising Concert for Lymphedema

Leah Morise's fundraiser supporting Lymphedema Association of Ontario in Leah Sings for Lymphedema Ontario June 17, 2016

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Campaign Ends June 30, 2016

Fundraiser for Lymphedema

Featuring - Leah Morise. Performance will be held in Fingal, Ontario on Friday, June 17, 2016Doors open at 7:30 pm and show starts at 8:00 pm. Admission by donation - all donations to the Lymphedema Association of Ontario on behalf of M. Elaine Arnold.Includes an intermission with coffee, tea, punch and snacks. Please RSVP to fingalfolk@gmail.com so we know how many to expect. You will then be sent the directions to our house.

Why this fundraiser? Awareness!

My mom (Elaine) has had lymphedema for years and I know the difficulties and limitations it has caused in her everyday life. She is now battling cancer (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) and, because of the toll that chemotherapy and radiation are taking on her body, she has currently lost all mobility. She is presently at home but has been hospitalized several times since beginning treatment in November. I have had the opportunity to observe interns, therapists, PSWs, nurses, cancer centre staff and even some doctors who have never seen someone with lymphedema (especially severe) in person and my mom continues to teach them about it. She invites them to inspect her legs and ask questions as she helps educate and create awareness. My mom is pretty amazing and I wanted to do something for her. Plus, she keeps bragging to all of the health care workers about me and some are wanting to come to my house for a concert. A perfect opportunity to create awareness, have a concert and honour my mom in her struggles.

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema occurs when your lymph vessels are unable to adequately drain lymph fluid, usually from an arm or leg. Lymphedema can be either primary or secondary. This means it can occur on its own (primary lymphedema) or it can be caused by another disease or condition (secondary lymphedema). Your lymphatic system is crucial to keeping your body healthy. It circulates protein-rich lymph fluid throughout your body, collecting bacteria, viruses and waste products. Your lymphatic system carries this fluid and harmful substances through your lymph vessels, which lead to lymph nodes. The wastes are then filtered out by lymphocytes (infection-fighting cells that live in your lymph nodes) and ultimately flushed from your body.

Signs and symptoms include: swelling of part or all of your arm or leg, feeling of heaviness or tightness, restricted range of motion, aching or discomfort, recurring infections, hardening and thickening of the skin (fibrosis).Some people are born with it; others develop it later in life, often after treatment for some cancers. In Ontario alone, it is estimated that over 63,000 children and adults live with lymphedema and many more are at risk.For more information about Lymphedema you can check out the Lymphedema Association of Ontario website: https://lymphontario.wildapricot.org/

NOTE FROM ELAINEI was born with Primary Lymphedema but I did not see the effects until my 30's when the skin would get red and my legs would feel heavy, almost dragging. Then my legs and from the waist down got bigger. I tried every diet with no success. When my legs got lumpy and sores on my legs did not heal I was checked for diabetes often. I asked every doctor I saw. They all suggested poor circulation or diabetes. Finally I said that I wanted to see a specialist, and was sent to a wound care nurse. She immediately knew what it was. I had never heard of Lymphedema and many doctors do not recognize Primary Lymphedema. Mine was diagnosed too late to prevent some of the skin sores and skin texture and the compression socks have only slightly helped the swelling in my legs. I would like to see doctors in all fields receive information about Primary Lymphedema.