N.S. woman with lymphedema not ending campaign over complaint
Published Wednesday, February 17, 2016 6:52PM AST
A woman trying to raise awareness of a chronic medical condition whose social media campaign ran into a roadblock isn’t backing down.
Karen Bingham has lived with lymphedema – a chronic swelling caused by a backup of lymphatic fluid – for most of her life.
“My father had it. Four of my sisters have it. Two of my brothers have it,” said Bingham.
Bingham was diagnosed with primary lymphedema.
“It's a very isolating disease,” said Bingham. “You don't really talk about it.”
Shutout of gyms because she couldn't wear proper footwear, Bingham realized there was a lack of awareness. She organized a seminar and used Facebook to advertise.
“Facebook decided that one of my photos wasn't appropriate because it showed a body part that was undesirable,” said Bingham.
When Bingham posted on her personal page, she got a complaint about nudity. She says that’s what upset her the most.
As frustrating as the experience has been, Bingham says it's not having the impact she originally intended. But she says people living with lymphedema all over the world are posting their own photos.
“Some of them have never posted anything, have never shown their legs in public ever in their lives,” said Bingham.
Mindy Hopkins from Ohio was one of the many to post a photo in solidarity.
"Here I am," she says. "This is me. These are my legs. Tell me my pictures are unacceptable."
Bingham says she's been moved to tears by the response.
“It overwhelmed me and made me realize everybody is just so behind lymphedema awareness.”
Facebook has recognized Bingham's photo doesn't contain nudity, but she says she's been told not to use it to advertise because it's undesirable.
Bingham says her seminar to raise awareness about lymphedema is still taking place on March 5.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.