Our History

Our History


Groundwork for the formation of the Lymphedema Association of Manitoba (LAM).

The founding co-directors:

  • Sue Zwarich, RMT
  • Kim Avanthay, LSAP
  • Edith Mulhall, R.N., RMT, CLT-LANA


LAM drafted its by-laws; incorporated under the Corporations Act and will be seeking charitable status. Its inaugural meeting of members was held in May, with the later appointment of the LAM board.


Theresa Oswald, Minister of Health has proclaimed March 6 as Lymphedema Awareness Day.

March 8, 2013, the Lymphedema Association of Manitoba hosted a provincial stakeholders meeting and on the 9th, their 1st annual Lymphedema Awareness Day Symposium. It was an exciting two days of events and connected many sectors of the lymphedema community in Manitoba.

The stakeholders meeting, brought together a wide variety of Manitobans with an interest in lymphedema and lymphedema management. It was the first public education meeting from the perspective of lymphedema patients and professionals. The day was spent identifying problems and brainstorming strategies for making advances in the recognition of lymphedema and related disorders. A day of true collaboration identified and brought together the individuals and organizations that will shape lymphedema awareness and treatment in Manitoba.

At the Symposium, speakers presented information about lymphedema and various aspects of treatment and management. Vendors were also on hand to showcase the wide variety of products that are now available to help patients and therapists cope with lymphedema and related disorders. From compression garment fitters to researchers, the lymphedema patients, therapists and other members of the lymphedema community benefited from the sharing of information and ideas that are current regarding this under recognized condition. It was a momentous day for lymphedema in Manitoba.

The Lymphedema Association of Manitoba has taken a big step in shaping the future of lymphedema care in our province.

March 9, 2013 - 1st Annual Lymphedema Awareness Day Symposium held in Winnipeg, Manitoba
The LAM is so thankful to our speakers, sponsors and exhibitors and all that attended our first annual symposium.

Calgary, Alberta (September 24, 2013) - Lymphedema research gets $5-million boost - Alberta researchers will be able to explore the lymphatic system thanks to a $5 million donation from...

October 18, 2013 - 1st Fundraiser held at Canad Inns Garden City in Winnipeg, MB. This Bud, Spud, & Steak fundraiser was a very well attended and successful evening. All funds raised will be used to support our 2nd Annual Lymphedema Awareness Day Symposium


March 8, 2014 hosted our 2nd Annual Lymphedema Awareness Day Symposium in Winnipeg.

March 8, 2014 - Lymphedema Association of Manitoba Provincial Stakeholders' Meeting held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The LAM Stakeholders' meeting was of discussion and collaboration of ideas.

May 8, 2014 news article featuring the LAM with a Private Member's Bill in the House to make March 6th Lymphedema Awareness Day!

June 12, 2014 - Bill 209, Lymphedema Awareness Day Act, proclaims March 6 in each year as Lymphedema Awareness Day.

October 22, 2014 - A "Halloween Howl" Bud, Spud & Steak Fundraising Dinner was held. Thank you to all who donated and attended making the fundraiser a success!


March 2015 - Over the past year I have witnessed the commitment of the incredible LAM Board of Directors, the LAM membership, Professional Advisory Committee, supporters, volunteers and symposium speakers and vendors. Without your continuous help the LAM wouldn't exist.

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank Kim Avanthay, Co-Founder and now Past President of the LAM for her dedication and contributions during her term.?

We are delighted to announce the LAM Board of Directors for 2015/2016; Debbie Davidson - President, Kim Avanthay - past President, Isabelle Thorvardson - Vice-President, Susan Tole - Secretary, Sandy Funk and Suzanne Paintin - Directors.

Let us all look to the year ahead with much optimism as our journey continues...breaking down the barriers.

On March 14, 2015 - 3rd Lymphedema Awareness Day Symposium, at Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites.
"Our Journey Continues...Breaking Down the Barriers"
Keynote speaker is Mitch Dorge ~ Life, It's Awesome. An award-winning musician, producer, and member of Winnipeg's Crash Test Dummies, Mitch is one of five individuals profiled in "W5 presents - Pursuit of happiness". What makes him so happy?
Speakers included:

  • Dr. Richard W. Nason, M.D., B.Sc., M.Sc., FRSCS - Head & Neck Cancer
  • Miriam Duff, M.Ed., CCLS, CCC, Pschosocial Clinician - Making the adjustment to living with lymphedema
  • Robert Harris, CI, CLT-LANA, Director & Senior Instructor - Dr. Vodder School - International
  • Special presentation: Barry's story . . . Having to FACE the music - A personal journey
  • Karen Dobbin, BMR/PT, MSc (Rehab), CLT - Physiotherapist in lymphedema management

Thank you to our gold and silver sponsors and seeing all the exhibitors.

Social spaces

Ultimately, our goal is to give lymphedema audiences a voice, interactive knowledge and supported connection to know that they are not alone on this journey. . .


LAM's 4th annual Lymphedema Awareness Day Symposium was held Saturday, March 12, 2016

Our speakers had so much information for us.

  • Keynote speaker - Nicole Foster, from Season Two of the Amazing Race Canada - Live an amazing life!
  • Brad Smith educated us on head and neck cancer and lymphedema
  • Dr. Emily Iker turned our focus on obesity and lymphedema
  • Scott Erickson spoke on reclaiming intimacy
  • Dr. Iain Palmer and the importance of foot care
  • Claire Ann Deighton-Lamy provided information on garment fitting
  • Susan Tole shared her personal story about living with primary lymphedema


Lymphedema Association of Manitoba's 5th Annual Symposium

Was held on Friday and Saturday, March 10 and 11th, 2017 at Deer Lodge Learning Centre.

Dr. David Keast Our headline speaker is currently the president of the World alliance for Wound & Lymphedema Care and Director of the Canadian Lymphedema Framework.

Dr. Tom Hack He is a Professor in the Faculties of Nursing, Medicine, and Graduate Studies at the University of Mantoba, and a clinical psychologist with CancerCare Manitoba and maintains a clinical practice in the Department of Patient and Family Support Services at St. Boniface hospital.

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