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Kathy Bates Testifies For Improved Lymphedema Treatment

Women in compression socks

Exciting news Lymphies! Kathy Bates is advocating for you as the spokesperson for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) in order to have more lymphedema research performed and to gain more insurance coverage for treatment and equipment.

Kathy Bates Testifies For Improved Lymphedema Treatment

Kathy Bates and an army of strong, dedicated activists made their way to Capitol Hill to advocate for misunderstood lymphatic diseases as planning for 2020 fiscal year takes place. Lymphedema has been under-diagnosed, under-treated, and largely ignored for too long, but now with Kathy Bates leading the charge, she may be able to inspire the necessary change needed to improve the lives of fellow patients struggling with diseases.

Seven years ago, Kathy Bates was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a double mastectomy, her surgeons felt it necessary to remove 19 lymph nodes from her left armpit and 3 from the right. This is a common cause of lymphedema, and even though Kathy is grateful to still have her life and to be cured of cancer, she now struggles with a life long condition, lymphedema.

You are not alone in facing common lymphedema symptoms, as Kathy has also faced swelling, mobility, hospitalization for potentially fatal infections, time-consuming daily care regimens, and purchasing expensive compression garments.

Through her personal journey, Kathy learned that over 10 million Americans suffer from lymphatic diseases and it should be made clear to Congress that more treatment options are desperately needed.

Many develop lymphedema after experiencing cancer treatment, including ⅓ of breast cancer survivors, and thousands with ovarian cancer. For some it’s congenital, and veterans get the disease from trauma infections.

Lymphedema currently has no cure in sight and no approved drug therapy. Only three studies have been performed worldwide to seek new lymphedema treatments, as patients silently suffer and their disease progresses.


Through the lymphie network, Kathy heard many inspiring stories that motivated her to continue the fight by asking Congress to:

  • Provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with $41.6 billion for the 2020 fiscal year and advance lymphatic disease research by expanding resources and encouraging better coordination among relevant Institutes and Centers. 
  • Establish a National Commission on Lymphatic Disease Research at the NIH to identify emerging opportunities, challenges, gaps, structural changes, and recommendations on lymphatic disease research.
  • Provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with $7.8 billion for FY 202 and enable programmatic activity on lymphatic disease education and public awareness.
  • Expand access to compression garments by requesting passage of the Lymphedema Treatment Act this year. Although this Committee doesn’t deal with insurance issues, we believe it’s important to concurrently make the case for the passage of the LTA.

About LE&RN

The Lymphatic Education & Research Network is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1998 to fight lymphatic disease and lymphedema through education, research, and advocacy. LE&RN provides valuable educational resources to millions of patients suffering from lymphatic diseases. They also foster and support research that will expand the medical community’s understanding of the lymphatic system.

We Can Help With Insurance

If you’re suffering from lymphedema we can help you qualify to receive a lymphedema pump through insurance. Simply fill out our online form and we will review your coverage and options with you. Then we will submit all of the necessary paperwork to your providers and guide you through the process to qualify for the medical supplies you need.

We will continue to advocate for lymphedema awareness and assist patients in qualifying for the medical supplies they need to help patients experience an improved quality of life!

Information provided on the Aeroflow Health blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow Health recommends consulting a doctor if you are experiencing medical issues or concerns.


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