“I was headed for a wheelchair.” So began Catherine Seo’s lipedema journey at perimenopause. A surgical procedure left her with lymphedema and emotional distress: “I cried and cried and asked so many questions my surgeon ‘fired’ me.”
A researcher and communicator, Seo devoured Michael and Ethel Földi’s “Textbook of Lymphology” on the lymphatic system and found a chapter on lipedema that changed her life. When she saw photos of and gathered with others who also had lipedema, she describes an “incredible exhale” at “finally seeing people like me.”
Her education included a documentary class and, when invited to England to meet with other lipedema patients, she brought her recording equipment with her. This resulted in the groundbreaking documentary “Lipedema: The Disease They Call Fat.” This production led to the creation of Lipedema Simplified, the umbrella organization for The Lipedema Project.
“Lipedema Simplified is intended to offer programs and resources to the global lipedema community, while The Lipedema Project is our research arm, devoted to raising awareness,” Seo explains. “Overall, our vision is the ‘be the voice’ for women living with lipedema.”
Seo also values educating patients about the tools available to help manage their condition, like Lympha Press compression therapy, which are integral to her own care. She counts bringing people and ideas together as her greatest success and encourages people to celebrate their lives and to live well. Her final exhortation is to “Dream big!” Though she hopes for a cure in her lifetime, she believes in reaching for the moon in hopes of landing on a star.
Find out more at https://lipedemaproject.org/.
The Lympha Press Leadership Series is intended to raise awareness to leaders in lymphedema, CVI, wounds, and lipedema and the organizations that advocate for awareness and research. Lympha Press is proud to offer this content to serve both clinicians and patients.