Cancer survivor inspired to create clothing line for Lymphedema patients

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by Shakara Robinson

GRAFTON -- Elizabeth Zuraw had several treatments over the years for her cancer.

People who have surgery for cancer are at high risk for Lymphedema.

This condition affects millions of people across the globe. Zuraw says she was diagnosed in 2012.

Zuraw says it's impossible to shop for clothes at department stores.

Lymphedema causes certain parts of the body to swell up daily. For Zuraw, her ankles, left shoulder, and stomach are a problem.

"I've been in stores,I'm trying on a size 16 dress for the size and comfort, and I've had people ask me, 'Why are you trying it on in this size? Why don't you get a size 8 or 10?' " Zuraw said. 

Lynette Gerke is a physical therapist at the Lymphedema Center in Brookfield, and she says most of her patients have a difficult time shopping for clothes.

"They wear a shirt, and one sleeve doesn't fit. That's not just cosmetic, where do you buy clothes?" Gerke said. 

Zuraw has taken matters into her own hands. She is making her own clothes, and she has drawn sketches for Lymphedema clothing.

"Sandals, coats and jackets. I mean, we need extra arm pit area. You know, you got the skinny jeans that are in, we're never going to wear skinny jeans," Zuraw said.

Zuraw is reaching out to different clothing companies and designers in hopes clothes can be made for people like her. 

 

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