Provide more funding, research and OHIP coverage for Lipedema Patients in Canada

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My name is Jennifer Atlee, and I suffer from Stage II Lympho- Lipedema. Upon further research, I have soon come to realize many things... 11% of the female population in Canada are suffering from this horrific disease just as I am. A little more then half of these woman have no idea that they are suffering from this disease, and are labelled "fat" by Family Physicians, other medical staff, and the world that surrounds them, which prevents them from acquiring a proper diagnosis, treatment, sometimes for their entire lives, and most of the time IF they are diagnosed it is far to late to reverse the disease, instead they continue on a downward spiral of deteriorating health for the rest of their lives. It is also stated that the average amount of hours that a family physician receives for education on the Lymphotic System, and diseases related to such equals to no more then a hour throughout their entire schooling. This alone causes a huge complication in their ability to properly diagnose this disease. This exact problem, before diagnosis led me to self research my own symptoms after 2 years with no answers with my own family physician. Not because he didn't care. He was ordering test after test trying to help, the issue was that he was also not fully educated in the symptoms of lympho - lipedema, and therefore was unable to order the proper tests to rule out my symptoms. With in those two years my disease rapidly progressed to stage II. I have also learned that any treatments in Canada for Lympho-Lipedema (including compression garments, massage therapy, aquatic therapy)are not only NOT covered by our OHIP, but it also only prolongs the destructive effects of this disease. Meaning, the end result is still losing your quality and quantity of life, immobility, massive physical deformities, unbearable pain every second of the day, and in the end...amputation of infected limbs.... not to mention the severe mental and emotional toll is enough to make any "superwoman" crumble, and lose the fight. I feel that ALL woman who are, and will suffer from this disease in the future deserve far more then this! This is not our fault, this is not self inflicted, we did not ask for this, and yet our Country treats us like we have. In Germany, Sweeden, and parts of USA, a surgery called "lymph sparring liposuction" is readily available, and has been practiced for 15 years now, documenting a significant reversal percentage rate in the millions of woman suffering from this disease. So much so that these woman who have had the opportunity to undergo this procedure have reported that they are once again able to be a normal functioning member of society, and that they have got their lives back, acknowledging all this is due to receiving the above stated procedure. This disease and this type of treatment is so new to the world that the Canadian Government has yet to place proper funding to research this disease and help provide medical relief to thousands of woman suffering in silence. There is an answer to our suffering ladies. Canada is very behind in these new discoveries. Why are we not asking the questions that we deserve answers to? This medical procedure can help us and our families, why is it not available in Canada? It is time that we put the heat on our Ministry of Health, and request that further investigation, funding, and research, be applied to our Lipedema Clinics in all of Canada to help save our mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, daughters, and our lives! It is time that together we get our lives back and stop suffering! With your signature, I will be the voice of all woman with this disease, I will stand strong and I will not let the world get me down or make me feel less then. I am done being embarrased I am done hiding the real me to the world out of fear of social rejection.  It takes one person to stand tall and proud and make a difference , please help me to be the voice of all these woman who share the same diagnosis. We should not be ashamed , we should be proud that we are warriors and we fight everyday of our lives just to make it through another day. Lets work together and have our voices heard, please share to everyone you know, together lets ensure that this disease gets the immediate attention that it so desperately needs before its to late. Together, let's fight to have this disease researched more directly, Let's fight to have these surgeries readily available in Canada, and to have our government recognize that this disease is just as cruicial to research, and fund as diseases such as cancer, and there should be some kind of government funding to help move this research to the next level. please stand behind me so I can be your voice, and I will assure you that by signing this petition, you will help us get one step closer to the change we need ! Remember "when we believe, we succeed!"



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