Despite her perfect looks this model wants us to know about a rare condition she is suffering from
Many medical conditions in the world do not have any cure and some of them severely impede the normal daily workings of the patient. It may be anything from a small internal condition to something that is both internal and its effects are shown on the body. One such condition is Lymphedema and one 24-year-old girl, who suffers from this incurable disease, wants the world to know about the disease, especially little girls, who are bullied because they look different due to the effects of the condition.
1 The model whose one leg is larger than the other
24-year-old Meagan Barnard was 15 when she was diagnosed with a medical condition that changed her life forever. Since then, it has been 10 years and she has never tried to hide the condition that has led to her leg being swollen this big. The lymph nodes in her right leg have been damaged beyond repair, and this has led to her leg retaining immense amount of water. The condition is called lymphedema and it is an incurable disease. It causes her leg to retain up to 3 pounds of water. She has dealt with bullying in her youth and was called the Michelin man because of her appearance. She says, “Everyone was laughing at me. If it wasn’t for the bullying, I wouldn’t have gone about hiding it the way I had.”
2 The condition that caused her leg to swell
Lymphedema is a medical condition which causes swelling in the arms and legs of the patient. It is mostly caused by the removal or damage to the lymph nodes in the said body parts. This blocks the lymphatic system of the body and leads to retention of the lymphatic fluid in the body, leading to the swelling. The swelling from the condition may range from being mild, showing barely any difference to the size of the arms and legs. This can go to extremes, as in the case of Meagan, which has swelled to the amount that it has become hard for her to use the limb effectively. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Lymphedema currently, but if it is diagnosed early, it can be controlled using injections and medicines.
3 How she manages her situation?
The Lymphedema has caused Meagan to let go of things that she loved to do, like dancing and playing basketball. She now has to take care of her leg on a regular basis. She has to wear a compression bandage at work, where she is an administrative assistant and has to use a pump as soon as she reaches her home to remove the excess fluid so that she can move her leg. She again has to wrap the leg in compression garment and foam in order to sleep, at night.
“Managing my condition and taking proper care is required 24 hours per day,” says Barnard. “Depending on the type of day I am having and how swollen my leg is, my activity is limited. Most days, light exercise and walking are the most that I can do.”
4 Hopes for a better future
Meagan has decided to go public with her condition as she wants the world to know about Lymphedema. She says, “I really don’t know how I’ve hidden this for so long. I guess I don’t want other young girls to have to go through what I did. At the time I would rather have not been alive than have lymphedema.” Since the condition is incurable, she has to remove the fluid every night so that she can move the leg and has to wear compression bandages throughout the day. All of her joints, pain badly and for her, doing normal chores like walking, doing office work can be extremely hard.
Meagan Bernard has decided to self-fund a liposuction operation in order to gain long term relief from the pain. Her insurance companies have denied covering the surgery considering the procedure as a cosmetic procedure. Without the surgery, the condition will only become worse and maybe she will lose the movement in that limb. Meagan signed off by saying, “Without the surgery, I feel like many opportunities are not available to me – I just want a chance to live a normal life with normal opportunities.”