This year’s 5k Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases will take place on Sept. 19. Photo courtesy of Lymphatic Education & Research Network

This year’s 5k Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases will take place on Sept. 19. Photo courtesy of Lymphatic Education & Research Network

Hundreds of people will gather to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan on Saturday, Sept. 19 in hopes of building community, raising funds and garnering more attention for lymphedema and lymphatic diseases.

The Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) will host the 2015 5k Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration at Cadman Plaza Park, and commence at 11:00 a.m. with a ribbon cutting and speeches. Registration is easy and teams are forming now.

The event will provide an opportunity for families and individuals to spend a day out for a good cause. For those who cannot attend there are other ways to help. Donations can be made online at www.LymphWalk.org, and there is even a chance to become a virtual walker.

Lymphedema and lymphatic diseases remain unknown to most people despite affecting up to 10 million Americans — that’s more than AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and ALS combined. People affected by lymphedema and lymphatic diseases can be of all ages and backgrounds.

The current fundraising leader for this year’s event is 7-year-old Emma Detlefsen, who started a lemonade stand to help raise money for the disease that has affected her first-hand. At the walk, Emma will be awarded the LE&RN Youth Ambassador Award, which will be presented to her by state Sen. Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D-WF, Manhattan).

Emma says her efforts have been partially inspired by Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates, who has spoken out about her own battle with lymphedema. Bates helped kick off last year’s walk, and this year organizers and participants are hoping to make her proud again.

“At last year’s walk, Kathy Bates inaugurated the Face of Lymphedema Challenge,” said William Repicci, LE&RN’s executive director. “This year, we’ll show her she isn’t alone with New Yorkers coming forward and standing tall for lymphedema and lymphatic disease awareness.”

This event is presented by LE&RN and presenting sponsor BSN medical, and sponsored by ImpediMed, L-Dex, Bio Compression Systems, Eiger Pharmaceuticals, Mikimoto, Luna Medical, The Norton School, Printology, Lohmann & Rauscher, Solaris, ShechterCare, Tactile Medical, Lympha Press, Bio Horizon Medical and Mount Sinai.

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