Patients, carers and staff of the Suffolk GP Federation Lymphoedema Service in West Suffolk are coming together to raise awareness of the condition.
Lymphoedema is a chronic and permanent swelling which can affect any area of the body, most commonly the limbs, but can be treated and managed to improve quality of life.
As part of Lymphoedema Awareness Week (which will run from September 15 – 22), the Suffolk GP Federation Lymphoedema Service will be hosting an activity-packed event at the Moreton Hall Community Centre in Symonds Road, Bury St Edmunds, from 10am-4pm on September 15.
Visitors will be able to get involved in a number of fun physical activities including an exercise bike challenge and Tripudio, a low-impact fitness programme designed to focus on the lymphatic system and improve balance.
Exhibitors will be on hand to provide information about the help and support available for people affected by the condition and anyone dropping in will be able to find out more about the Lymphoedema Service and Lymphoedema Support Suffolk, a local support group.
Jane Langston, who is a qualified Tripudio instructor and Lymphoedema patient, said: “Tripudio is a great form of exercise for people with Lymphoedema that can be done at home and helps with self-management of the condition. I’m running Tripudio sessions for the Lymphoedema Support Suffolk group and this will be a good opportunity for newcomers to see what it’s about.”
Lymphoedema Support Suffolk will also be encouraging people to sign up to their ‘Million Steps Challenge’ which aims to collectively clock up one million steps during the awareness week – equivalent to a 500 mile walk – as walking is one way to help alleviate the condition.
Diane Cheevers, lead specialist nurse for the Suffolk GP Federation Lymphoedema Service, said: “We are taking on the ‘Million Steps Challenge’ during awareness week as getting mobile and adopting a healthy lifestyle are important self-help factors in managing Lymphoedema. We would like to thank all those who have signed up to support us in the challenge so far – we are hoping to smash our target.”
One patient of the Suffolk GP Federation Lymphoedema Service is Heather Griffiths, 60, of Bury, who was diagnosed with Lymphoedema after suffering from cellulitis, whereby the skin becomes red, swollen and painful.
She said: “I have been using the service for almost a year now and I’ve been very impressed with the care I have received. I suffer from a lot of skin allergies and the nurses have gone above and beyond to provide a tailored treatment plan to suit my needs.”
Referral to Suffolk GP Federation’s Lymphoedema Service is available via a GP or Health Care Professional.
Based in Maynewater Lane, Bury, with satellite clinics in Ixworth, Haverhill and Newmarket, the service is led by a specialist nurse with two supporting practitioners.
For details, visit www.suffolkfed.org.uk
The GeeCol Lymphoedema Service, based in Nowton Road, Bury, will also have an information stand at the Apex, in Charter Square, on September 15.
For details, go to www.geecol-lymphoedemaclinic.com