A Brief History of the LTA

What follows is a brief overview of the history of the Lymphedema Treatment Act, told from the perspective of Heather Ferguson, founder of the Lymphedema Advocacy Group. 
In 2006 I had never heard of lymphedema, but after the birth of my twin boys,
Devdan and Dylan, that would soon change.
Devdan and Dylan
Dylan was eventually diagnosed with primary lymphedema and was prescribed his first compression garment
at seven months of age. Upon learning of the coverage problems I reached out to Bob Weiss (pictured with me below),
who is a long-time patient advocate and runs the website LymphActivist.org. He gave me invaluable advice and support.
Heather Ferguson and Bob Weiss
I spent the better part of Dylan’s first two years of life appealing denials, which led me to the decision that
I would rather work to fix the problem once and for all for everyone, than just continually fighting for coverage for Dylan.
Devdan and Dylan-2
In 2009, I worked with my State Representative, Tricia Cotham (seen below with Dylan and I),
to introduce and pass a North Carolina State Lymphedema Treatment Mandate.
Tricia Cotham
Later that year, I met with my Congressman, Larry Kissell (center in the photo below), who agreed to introduce a federal bill.
The first version of the LTA, entitled the Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010, was born!
Larry Kissell
After shepherding the bill through two sessions of Congress, Kissell was not reelected. We approached Congressman
Dave Reichert (pictured below, center) to be our lead sponsor, and he has been our champion in the House ever since.
Dave Reichert
In 2016, we gained a Senate companion bill sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell
(seen below receiving an Awareness Day award), who continues to lead our Senate bill today.
Maria Cantwell
We have steadily gained more and more support in each Congress,
and have never been closer to passing the Lymphedema Treatment Act!
My sons are now ten-years-old. Dylan is doing great, but I know that
he would not be the healthy, happy, active child that he is if he did not have his compression supplies.
Devdan and Dylan-3
Every phone call counts and makes a difference. Please take a couple of minutes to call your members of Congress who are not yet cosponsoring the LTA (again if you already have) and ask them to cosponsor this bill.
You’ll find the phone number and a brief call script at the links under the “How You Can Help” menu above and left, and links to see who our current cosponsors are in the “Current Status” box beneath the “How You Can Help” menu.