by Willa Condy Seymour
On June 4 the British Columbia Lymphedema Association (BCLA) is holding the first Lymphedema workshop in the Okanagan at the Winfield Community Hall.
Similar to the venal system lymphatic vessels run through the body, going through lymph nodes helping remove toxins and wastes from the body.
If the lymphatic system gets damaged from surgery or genetic or birth defect then instead of the fluid circulating through the body the fluid builds up, causing swelling in the region.
With over 130,000 people dealing with Lymphedema in B.C. many struggle to be diagnosed and find proper treatment. The doctors that specialize in Lymphedema are all based in the lower mainland.
Currently the Lymphedema Clinic at VGH has a two year waiting list.
For 16 years the BCLA has been actively advocating for those dealing with Lymphedema and other lymphatic disorders.
BCLA Vice President Sandi McConnach, a breast cancer survivor, developed Lymphedema in 2008.
She is passionate about the importance of education in dealing with Lymphedema and early intervention.
“We need to get to the people sooner,” said McConnach.
The workshop on June 4 is designed to help those dealing with Lymphedema.
Cost to attend is $20 for BCLA members and $25 for non members.
“It is coming together,” said McConnach.
Juzo Canada Ltd. is the major sponsor for the event and Kathlene McCuaig, Territory Manager for Juzo Canada will be a keynote speaker. Juzo is also giving a compression garment as a special prize for one lucky person who attends the workshop.
Janet Sprauge, Lymphedema therapist for over 20 years, will be sharing her knowledge with Lymphedema Management for body.
She also will be involved in a bandaging demos, an important tool in dealing with Lymphedema.
Danielle Wittal, Radiation therapist and Pranayama Leader, will be discussing the importance of meditation and mental health support in dealing with Lymphedema.
Along with the speakers there will be a Q&A Panel.
This is the first workshop held in the Okanagan but the BCLA does have support groups in both Kelowna and Kamloops to help those dealing with Lymphedema.
Also attending this workshop is the BCLA President Christine Chandler, a tireless advocate for those dealing with this as yet incurable disease.
There is still time to register for the workshop — go to www.bclymph.org to register.
There will also be a chance to register at the door on June 4.