Lymphedema Awareness

I was going to write about preparing for the Lymphedema Awareness Seminar that I am organizing but this past week has been very eventful.

When I was advertising the event on Facebook I decided to do some paid advertising. After submitting my ad I was told that I could not use one of the photos to advertise my seminar because it contained a body part that was “undesirable”. I posted on my Facebook status that this upset me, not realizing the results that one little post would have. People started sharing it and then I realized that this would be a great way to promote awareness so I then edited my post and said “please share” and boy did people share… At this time it has been shared over 1600 times and that is not including the posts that people created themselves and it has gone worldwide. To show support for me a lot of people with lymphedema started posting photos of their legs (and some of them had never shown their legs in public before). I was overwhelmed. People’s stories of their feeling of isolation and their happiness of seeing someone actually creating Lymphedema Awareness were amazing. Then someone decided to report my post’s photo to Facebook claiming it was nudity. Facebook asked me to remove the photo but I would not delete it because it was not nudity and the person who reported it knew it was not nudity. He or she was just being a jerk. This actually made me more upset than the original Facebook issue because this was a real person who complained. I didn’t realize that my legs were so offensive that it made someone report them (I have seen a lot of offensive things on Facebook and I don’t feel that my legs can even come close to being as offensive as them) . Eventually Facebook investigated the photo and decided it was not nudity and they did not delete it (I am still not allowed to use it in my paid advertising  because it “shows a body part as undesirable” but I can use it on my own Facebook page). I was then asked to do a segment on the news talking about the Facebook issues. This was definitely a great opportunity to bring Lymphedema Awareness to the public. Thanks CTV Atlantic News and Kayla Hounsell for giving me the opportunity. This news clip has now been shared worldwide. (I have included a link to the clip at the end of this post)

My goal for this year was to bring Lymphedema Awareness locally, I had no idea that one little Facebook post would create such a buzz and be as far reaching as it has been. Thank you to everyone who has shared my posts, news clip and  tweets and created your own to help raise awareness of lymphedema. I have just found out that Kathy Bates has seen my story. Here is a tweet from her:

Kathy Bates@MsKathyBates 4h4 hours ago

Brava ! Saw ur inspiring story. I have Lymphedema & am Spokesperson for LE&RN we r raising awareness. Join us!!

This is completely amazing to me. I am a huge fan of Kathy as an actress and as an advocate for lymphedema.

I am so happy that I have finally found my voice after years of hiding my lymphedema. My new goal  is to bring LYMPHEDEMA AWARENESS to as many people as I possibly can and to continue to do this for the rest of my life. Please join me!   🙂

CTV Atlantic News Clip with me