Every minute of everyday those that suffer from lymphedema feel that they suffer from this condition alone. But the support of family, friends and others can be helpful in many ways as they go through treatment and beyond. Those suffering from this condition must face each day with new health concerns, avoiding infections, dealing with pain and avoiding stress all of which combine to make life difficult at times. It is at these times they need the support of family and friends, to help reach deep and find the strength of a warrior, a Lymphedema Warrior.
What is a Lymphedema Warrior?
At the Davis Lymphedema Fund, we consider a person a Lymphedema Warrior from the moment that they are diagnosed with this debilitating condition. But, Lymphedema Warriors can also be family members, spouses or partners, friends, colleagues and anyone who is and has been there to lend support to those struggling with the day-to-day obstacles of lymphedema. Many types of Warriors may enter the individual’s life lending support in multiple ways.
A Lymphedema Warrior is anyone that is willing to be themselves, support those afflicted and be there when they need you the most. So what can you do as a Lymphedema Warrior?
Right from the very moment that your loved one is diagnosed with this condition you can become a Warrior. Like many other conditions, lymphedema can cause your loved one to look markedly different. The increased swelling of the limbs can and does cause the world around them to stop and stare. As a Lymphedema Warrior, you need to help your loved one deal with these stares by supporting them and offering information about what it is that they have. Confronting this can be uncomfortable for you, but for you loved one it will bring them a piece of mind that you are there for them.
Fact is those that live with lymphedema go through a great deal, and those that do not suffer from it cannot really understand what it is that they go through. But this does not mean that as a Lymphedema Warrior you cannot help them. Lymphedema can be overwhelming, and many times it can be a complex issue that is difficult to understand. It changes lives, relationships, goals, and other important aspects of the lives that it afflicts. Understanding the information of what lymphedema is, how it affects the individual and what can be done to help is very important. Much of this information can help you and your loved one retain some sense of control over this debilitating condition.
Create a network of support. Get friends, co-workers and neighbors to join together to assist your loved one in their time of need by creating a private online group calendar at lotsahelpinghands.com. As a coordinator, you can create, free-of-charge, a private and secure web community, define volunteer activities using the supplied templates and invite members to the community. Volunteers can then easily view and sign up for any number of available tasks (i.e. bring meals, drive to doctor’s appointments, provide child care, etc.) and review their current commitments.
Sharing your story. As a Lymphedema Warrior you provide a great deal of the much needed support for your loved one’s fight against lymphedema. You may feel at times that there is no one there for you, to give you words of encouragement. Share your story. By sharing your story and connecting with other Lymphedema Warriors, you enlist the power of strength, hope, faith, love, and perseverance. The Davis Lymphedema Fund message board is a place for you to share your stories and connect with other Lymphedema Warriors.
As Lymphedema Warriors, it is up to use to honor our loved ones that are stricken with this condition, by being a part of the cause, by helping them become Lymphedema Warriors in their own right.
In time, you may want to honor your loved one by being part of the cause. Here are some ways to get involved and show your support.
Make a donation in honor of your loved one.
Participate in an event
Register to take part in a Beautifully Blue program.
Become an advocate.
Contact Us to learn about other ways you can get involved in your local community and become a Lymphedema Warrior!