Raising Awareness for Lymphedema



Photo provided by: lymphedematreatmentact.org
Photo provided by: lymphedematreatmentact.org
Matt Monroe

It is estimated that over 2-3 million Americans suffer from lymphedema, an incurable but treatable medical condition caused by injury, trauma or congenital defects in the lymphatic system.

Melvin Osburn is one of these many Americans. Before he was diagnosed and began treatment in 2006, Osburn was a truck driver. But now, he’s a patient advocate for the Lymphedema Treatment Act.

After visiting a chiropractor, the chiropractor asked Osburn about the condition, to which Osburn was confused and had no idea what it was. After learning more about the condition, Osburn began to look for a therapist to help treat his lymphedema.

Currently, the Lymphedema Treatment Act is an active bill in the current, 115th Congress. It was introduced on Feb. 7 and its leadership team includes Rep. Dave Reichert, WA-8 (lead sponsor), Rep. Leonard Lance, NJ-7 (co-lead), Rep. Earl Blumenauer, OR-3 (co-lead), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, IL-9 (co-lead).

Osburn says that this is the third time the Act has gone through Congress, as early versions of the bill had been introduced all the way back to 2011, but a new revised version is currently going through Congress.

“What I understand about the way this works, this bill [will] probably have to be attached to something else for it to work because it is a small bill according to the Congress,” said Osburn.

Additionally, Osburn stressed to people diagnosed to follow through with their treatment, saying “If they will follow through from what their therapist is teaching them and exercise with it, they can have a good quality of life.”

For more information about the Lymphedema Treatment Act, visit http://lymphedematreatmentact.org/.


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