NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) announced today that Spokesperson Kathy Bates is being honored by the New York State Assembly and Senate for her courageous efforts to spread lymphedema awareness. Resolutions sponsored by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Martin J. Golden are being read in both chambers recognizing the Academy Award-winning actress’ achievements in honor of National Lymphedema Awareness Day March 6th.
Kathy Bates developed lymphedema in both arms following a double mastectomy. “Lymphedema is a chronic souvenir from my surgery and initially I felt alone and frightened,” say Ms. Bates. “On my journey with lymphedema, I found that up to 10 million Americans suffer from this disease. This represents more sufferers than those Americans who have AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and ALS combined! Yet, I also learned that lymphedema often goes undiagnosed and untreated. This affliction affects children, a high percentage of cancer survivors and anyone who has suffered traumatic injuries damaging the lymph nodes, including our military. Yet incredibly it is virtually unknown by most Americans as well as many physicians. I can afford help. Millions can't. This is why I joined the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) as a spokesperson spreading lymphedema awareness wherever I am able.”
“Lymphatic disease and lymphedema will only become a national priority once those affected come forward and join this fight,” says LE&RN Executive Director, William Repicci. “Kathy Bates has become a lightening rod for the movement, and kicked-off LE&RN’s Face of Lymphedema Challenge and Membership campaign to usher in this change.”
Ms. Bates recently talked about her lymphedema on The Doctors and in published news interviews. “I didn’t know where to go for help when first diagnosed. Then the more I learned what I would have to do to manage my lymphedema each day, every day, I became angry,” she states. “I’m in this fight for the long-haul.”
The NYS Legislature is also reading a Resolution honoring LE&RN youth ambassador, six-year old Emma Detlefsen. Sen. George Amadore and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal are carrying the resolution in their respective houses. Emma has suffered from lymphedema since birth. Calling themselves “Emma’s Incredibles” and donning capes, Emma and her supporters are tireless advocates and fundraisers for lymphatic disease awareness.
Founded in 1998, the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (formerly LRF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization whose mission is to fight lymphatic disease and lymphedema through education, research and advocacy. LE&RN provides valuable education resources for the millions of people who suffer from lymphedema and lymphatic disease. LE&RN fosters and supports research that can deepen the medical community's understanding of the lymphatic system. For more information about lymphatic disease or the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, please visit www.LymphaticNetwork.org or call (516) 625-9675.