Woman presses forward with lymphedema campaign
Published Wednesday, March 2, 2016 10:42AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 2, 2016 3:43PM EST
A woman in N.S. with a lymphedema is pressing ahead with her efforts to raise awareness about the chronic condition, despite resistance from Facebook.
The social media company recently removed a photo of Karen Bingham’s swollen legs, after it deemed the image was in violation of its content guidelines.
But Bingham has continued to share the images in an effort to raise awareness about lymphedema, the condition which causes her legs to swell with fluid.
“It is such an isolating disease,” Bingham told CTV Atlantic on Tuesday.
Bingham is holding a lymphedema awareness event on Saturday, to educate others about the disease, and to establish a network for other Nova Scotians with the condition. She’s expecting about 100 attendees, which is well above the number she initially projected.
“They’re very excited to see somebody in the public actually making people more aware,” Bingham said of the people signed up for the event. “It’s very rarely on television. It’s very rarely seen anywhere. Most people hide it.”
Bingham says she decided to launch the event after she was unable to find a support group for lymphedema in her area.
“The closest I could find was New Brunswick,” she said.
Last month, actress Kathy Bates noticed Bingham’s efforts to raise awareness about the disease, and acknowledged her in a tweet. “Brava,” wrote Bates, who also suffers from the disease.
Bingham said Bates’ words gave her a boost.
“I’m a big fan, not just of her acting, but also as a spokesperson for lymphedema,” Bingham said.
Bingham said the important message she wants to convey to lymphedema sufferers is simple: “Know that you’re not alone.”
March is lymphedema awareness month, and a petition on Change.org is seeking to have March 6 declared a day for awareness of the disease.
Bates appears in a video promoting the petition.