"I built the community that I didn't have."
Amy Rivera is a powerful voice in the lymphedema community. Her Ninjas Fighting Lymphedema Foundation offers help and support that she wished for on the journey to a lymphedema diagnosis.
Misdiagnosed for 30 years, Amy was born with the right side of her body swollen. One doctor told her she'd be in a wheelchair by the age of 35.
She fired him.
A lifetime of sluggishness and fatigue combined with the swelling didn't keep her from living a full life and becoming a mom. That vision of ending up in a wheelchair and not being there for her family? It fueled her search for answers.
When she finally discovered what she had was lymphedema, she booked a flight to see a doctor who understood the condition. Since then, she's been on a reduction journey for her Stage 4 elephantiasis, using compression, bandaging, MLD, and pneumatic compression therapy. She's had three surgeries (and is currently recovering from one).
Everything she learns along the way she uses to uplift the lymphedema community.
At first, she was fighting for herself. Now she fights for everyone with lymphedema.
Her mission: "To ensure that no one suffers alone."
Be inspired by Amy Rivera's story and connect with her Foundation at www.winourfight.org.
The Lymphedema Channel interviews are brought to you by Lympha Press, global leaders in pneumatic compression for over 40 years.