“Those who truly understand lymphedema from the inside are the patients who live through the daily challenges that the condition presents. As therapists we often fail in our ability to comprehend those challenges unless we too have personally experienced lymphedema.
The term “Lymphedema” refers to swelling caused by a problem with the lymph vessel system, most commonly caused by the consequences of cancer interventions such as surgery and radiation. However there are another group of patients who are often overlooked in the larger picture of cancer therapy. These are patients who have what is known as “Primary lymphedema”. This refers to a malformation in the lymph vessel system that occurs during development of the fetus in the womb. The consequence may be swelling that appears at birth, teenage years or after age 35. Most commonly primary lymphedema manifests in teenage years, affects females predominantly and usually affects the legs.
This personal account of the experiences of a teenager with primary lymphedema is an invaluable resource for other teenagers and also for those who want to become more familiar with what it is like living with lymphedema. I commend Courtney and her dedicated, committed and passionate Vodder-certified therapist Emily Smith, for bringing primary lymphedema out of the closet.”
Robert Harris - Director
Vodder Schools International