Our Story - LympheDIVAs
The story of LympheDIVAs began in Philadelphia when two young breast cancer survivors, Rachel Troxell and Robin Miller, developed lymphedema, a side effect of breast cancer treatment that can cause permanent swelling in the arms. Their physicians and lymphedema therapists recommended a compression sleeve as the most effective way of controlling the swelling. When they researched the options for the sleeve they found that the only ones available were rough textured, heavy, hot, beige, and bandage-like. Frustrated and dismayed over the lack of options they had for compression sleeves, Robin and Rachel met with Kristin Dudley, a fashion designer, to discuss their idea of creating a more elegant and comfortable compression sleeve.
In early 2007, Robin left the company. Soon after, Rachel discovered her breast cancer had returned. While she was being treated, she continued building LympheDIVAs, which brought her much joy during a difficult time in her life. Rachel died January 22, 2008, at the age of 37. Her determination and compassion to improve the lives of breast cancer survivors is very much ingrained in the spirit of LympheDIVAs.
At Rachel’s request, her father Dr Howard Levin and her mother, Judy Levin took over the responsibility of running the company, which their daughter helped found. In August of 2010, Rachel’s little brother, Josh Levin, joined the company and is now running it with his parents. They all hope that LympheDIVAs’ compression apparel will continue to inspire breast cancer survivors everywhere to feel as beautiful, strong and confident as Rachel was.
And Now - LympheDonna
I have just taken over Lymphedonna from Vicki Spanring, breast cancer survivor and thriver! I am thrilled to be able to distribute the beautiful LympheDivas sleeves in Australia. It can be challenging for people to wear compression garments so anything that makes it more ‘fun’ just makes sense to me.
After completing my Level 1 training in Lymphoedema Management and completing what I describe as my ‘lymphoedema apprenticeship’ at the ACT Calvary Lymphoedema Service, I started my own small, part-time, private lymphoedema service in 2009 called Positive Motion Physiotherapy. We have always aimed to provide a high quality of patient care and support and a range of management strategies tailored to the individual. Positive Motion Physiotherapy has grown as a business thanks to a wide referral base of specialists and patient word-of-mouth! I have also developed a special interest in exercise as a management strategy for recovery, further enhanced through my involvement in a research study through the University of Canberra with results published in 2013 (Cornie, P, Pumpa, K., Galvao, A., Turner, E. et al., Journal of Cancer Survivorship vol. 7 (2), June 2013). In 2011/12 I developed an evidence-based weights-training class designed to improve function and quality of life for those who are at risk of, or those who had developed upper limb lymphoedema.
As members of the Australasian Lymphology Association, we at Positive Motion Physiotherapy are committed to providing a high level of evidence-based patient care. I look forward to helping you with your journey and to assist you to select a LympheDivas sleeve to suit your style.