The Pleasanton city council and mayor are proclaiming March 6th as World Lymphedema Day. At the March 5th town hall at 7pm, the mayor and city council will formally present the proclamation to Lymphatic Education & Research Network's (LE&RN) California Chapter Co-Chair, and Pleasanton residents Sarah Brunskill and her son Grayson Howard (age 2), who was born with Primary Lymphedema.

In 2016, Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) was able to get bi-partisan support and co-sponsorship from U.S. Senator Grassley (R) and Senator Schumer (D) to establish World Lymphedema Day on March 6. It was approved by the U.S. Senate unanimously. The event was and still is celebrated worldwide and resolutions were also passed in the State Houses to recognize this day. However, it is essential that we bring this recognition into our local communities.

Lymphedema is a disease that affects up to 10 million Americans and 170 million people worldwide. It can be hereditary or acquired as a result of cancer treatment or physical trauma. An estimated 30% of breast cancer survivors will develop this debilitating disease that results in the accumulation of lymph fluid in the limbs when the lymphatic system is damaged. Similarly, survivors of prostate and ovarian cancers and melanoma are very susceptible. Veterans suffer from this as a result of battle injury or trauma from surgery. Additionally, the National Institute of Health estimates that at least 1 in 300 children are born with this disease. The effects of lymphedema are lifelong, it drastically affects one’s quality of life, and can lead to shortened lifespan. Currently, there is no cure.