Guest Column: Primary Lymphedema since I was six years old

One Strong (and photogenic) Family. Kimber and Scott Strong with their three children.
One Strong Family. Kimber and Scott Strong with their three children.

Meet Kimber Strong. Kimber and I have much in common. She is in her late thirties, has a home in Maryland not far from where I was raised, and lives with primary-onset lymphedema.

But, while I was trying on prom dresses and running lines for the school plays (unaware of the ticking time bomb in my lymphatic system), Kimber was wearing hospital gowns and enduring a steady diet of antibiotics and bad medical advice.

Kimber Strong has had lymphedema since she was six years old, barely out of kindergarten.

She is indeed “strong.” Despite her rough road, she remains optimistic and has enthusiastically embraced a recent, cutting edge medical procedure. The procedure involves transplanting lymph nodes from one area of the body to compensate for malfunctioning nodes in another. Kimber has since had this procedure, called lymph node transfer, and reports progress in her condition. Ironically, Kimber was made aware of this procedure, not through the medical community, but through a blog written by a fellow “lymphie.”

Kimber’s story reaffirms for me that maintaining our LE network is critical. We are our own best hope.

Kimber’s Story in her own words.

Kimber’s thoughts the night before her lymph node transfer surgery.

Kimber five weeks post-surgery.

4 thoughts on “Guest Column: Primary Lymphedema since I was six years old”

  1. Thank you for sharing Kimber’s story from my blog.. Kimber is an amazing women and I am honoured to be able to share hers and others stories. A year ago I had my own Lymph Node Transfer surgery and I was acutely aware of the lack of resources for patients.. I felt the need to share my experience and pave the way for others who may follow. Little would I have realised where this would take me, people I would meet and the connections I would make, stories I would share.. Building awareness of Lymphoedema is my goal and this is only possible with the support of fellow Lymphies… Our community is growing and interconnecting, it gives support and encouragement, advice and friendship.. Thank you Britta for sharing… Helen

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