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.