Hi! My name is Leonie and I’m a teacher from the Netherlands. I live together with my boyfriend and our three lovely cats
This year I’m celebrating 25 years of being a teacher on a primary school!.
I’ve always been a sporty teenager, semi-professional swimmer and swim-teacher. I spent my whole childhood in or around the pool swimming or teaching children how to swim. As much as I loved swimming I always struggled with my legs. The harder I swam, the bigger they got. And it wasn’t all muscle! I ended-up having serious trouble finding boots and even shoes that would fit my flippers.
But not be able to find fitting shoes was not the biggest problem as my knees became really painful really quick with my right knee getting really hard to move at all!
After years of struggling and troubleshooting new x-rays finally showed my right knee was seriously worn out would need replacement. The problem was my age. An artificial knee only lasts for so long and I was just 28 years old at the time! Also, no clear cause for the problem could be found. I kept on struggling and walking became even harder. Now al my joints hurt and some days I could hardly walk the stair or even hold a chalk in class.
In my early 30's I insisted on further research and finally got diagnosed with lupus, a rheumatic and genetical condition. It explained the worn out and inflamed joints and I got special injections to counter the pain. However, it did not explain the excessive growth of my legs. It couldn’t be from eating as I’m a small eater.
In 2018, age 48, my rheumatologist sent me over to a dermatologist to take a look at them puffy legs with different eyes. He immediately diagnosed me with Lipedema, a metabolic disease that causes fat cells to grow rapidly, fuse together and hinder the natural drain of fluids throughout the legs thus causing a build-up of both fat cells and fluids, causing puffy legs and extra pressure on my already painful knees.
Since then, I’ve been in therapy twice a week where a LPG device is used to externally stimulate moisture drainage and take off the pressure. It helps a bit but doesn’t fix the underlying condition.
Luckily, a German physician has found a way to successfully counter the effects of lipedema with a liposuction-like procedure where limbs are first inflated with a special fluid. After inflating both the fluid and fused fat-cells are successfully removed with special equipment.
The procedure has been successful for years now but sadly it’s still not covered by any insurance in the Netherlands. The numbers of patients are too low and the specific procedure is not carried out here.
I still have 22 years to go and hundreds of kids to teach, and I’m not planning to go down the disabled-road! That’s why I’m calling out to https://getfunded.nl/ to help me reach a life without pain, better mobility and the wish to finally wear the gorgeous boots I bought all those years ago.
Getting rid of the goo opens up the road to a new knee and will help me being able to walk, cycle, kneel, crouch and swim again! It would be totally epic!
Any donation is more than welcome