Bedford Hills Woman Honored For Shining Light On 'Shadow Disease'

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The Lymphatic Education & Research Network will honor Bedford Hills resident Britta Vander Linden at a fundraiser dinner on March 7.
The Lymphatic Education & Research Network will honor Bedford Hills resident Britta Vander Linden at a fundraiser dinner on March 7. Photo Credit: Contributed

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Bedford Hills resident Britta Vander Linden will be honored at a fundraising dinner at Putnam County Golf Course on Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m. hosted by the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, a national non-profit dedicated to fighting lymphatic disease and lymphedema through research, education and advocacy.

"Although an estimated ten million Americans suffer from lymphedema, this disease remains in the shadows,” executive director of LE&RN William Repicci said in a statement. “LE&RN honors Britta for her ongoing efforts to bring lymphedema into the light, champion research and give this cause a voice."

Vander Linden has had primary, or genetic, lymphedema for over fifteen years and became an early advocate and supporter of LE&RN.

She is the author of Lymphedema Diary, a blog that offers practical suggestions on how to deal with the condition and maintain a better quality of life. Her blog has received numerous responses (from as far away as New Zealand) from grateful readers who appreciate her uniquely candid and humorous style.

Vander Linden works in the communications office of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and is a graduate student at Pace University’s Public Administration program.

“When a cure for lymphatic diseases is someday found, it is likely to emerge as a result of the unyielding commitment of LE&RN and the generous people who support its cause,” Vander Linden said in the statement. “I highly encourage people to join us for this fun and worthwhile event or to contribute even if they cannot attend.”

Affecting millions of people worldwide, including breast cancer survivors, lymphedema is a chronic condition that results in excess lymph fluid collecting in the tissues and causes swelling, pain and fatigue. As an integral part of the immune system, the lymphatic system is the body's surveillance against cancer, and it can provide pathways for cancer to metastasize. It plays a role in inflammatory and auto-immune disorders such as arthritis and systemic lupus, and is key to understanding the spread of AIDS and many infections.

The event is being organized by the family of seven-year old Connor Looby of Mahopac, who suffers from intestinal lymphangiectasia as well as lymphedema.

Tickets are $75 per person (youth tickets $45 -12 and under) and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling (516) 625-9675.

The Putnam County Golf Course is located at 187 Hill Street in Mahopac.

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