Empowering women with lymphoedema

March 3rd, 2013

At 54, Vicki was diagnosed with breast cancer. After coming to terms with having cancer and coping with all the treatment, Vicki was diagnosed with lymphoedema. She was devastated. It was another thing to cope with.

Lymphoedema occurs when lymph nodes, which help to pump fluid around the body, are damaged by radiation or are removed during surgery to ensure that the cancer has not spread.

Almost 30% of women who have breast cancer surgery develop severe swelling in the arm, breast or chest – a condition known as lymphoedema for which there is no cure. The condition requires a daily treatment regime of massage, skin care exercises and compression garments to minimise pain, swelling and fluid retention.

Vicki_Spanring_300_300Lymphoedema can develop months or even years after treatment from something as small as a mosquito bite or a scratch from doing the gardening.

In Vicki’s case, while preparing a special meal for her family as thanks for their support during treatment, Vicki accidently burnt her arm on the oven. It was only a minor burn, but that was all it took to trigger lymphoedema and change Vicki’s life forever.

Tired of the rough, hot, bandage-like compression sleeve Vicki now had to wear every day of her life, she was delighted to discover comfortable and fashionable compression sleeves by LympheDIVA.

“I don’t think anyone quite understood how it deflated me, dulled my confidence and made me feel like a victim,” Vicki recalls. “So now I find myself the exclusive importer of these lovely fashion items, trading as LympheDonna and donating $1 from the sale of every sleeve to the National Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It brings me so much happiness to see and hear the reaction of women having fun with their lymphoedema.”

Vicki is also the face of our ‘Breast Cancer & Beyond’ appeal which will fund research to benefit the growing numbers of brave women who need greater care to experience a better quality of life after breast cancer.

Visit www.lymphedonna.com.au for more information.