The First-Person Advocacy of Sarah Bramblette

Sarah Bramblette — recipient of the Obesity Action Coalition’s highest honor, Member of the Year — has been popping up everywhere lately. Just in the last few months, she has published an essay in a bioethics journal, won HealthCentral’s Live Bold anti-stigma photo contest, lobbied on Capitol Hill for the Lymphedema Treatment Act, and appeared on national and regional television to advocate for more equitable treatment of people with lymphedema and obesity. In her spare time, she’s completing a master’s degree in Health Law at the Shepard Broad Law Center of Nova Southeastern University.

Her most recent celebrity comes from an appearance on The Doctors, a syndicated daytime medical talk show. Bramblette brought her her irrefragable charismatic persona to that program to talk about lymphedema, obesity, and weight bias. Despite confronting daily challenges of living with an advanced form of lymphedema, she presents herself with sunny determination and self-assurance that wins allies. She has a dedicated circle of friends who cheer for her as she advocates for them.

Until now, health plans, including Medicare, have denied coverage for some of the treatments that are critical to keeping the disease of lymphedema under control — much like or even more than they do for obesity. Bramblette’s first-person advocacy is a model and an inspiration. We have no doubt that she and others she inspires will change how the world treats people with both lymphedema and obesity.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” — Robin Williams

Click on the video above for Bramblette’s appearance on regional television, click here for her appearance on The Doctors, click here for more about her bioethics essay, and click here for more on her winning entry in HealthCentral’s Live Bold competition. Click here to follow Sarah’s blog, born2lbfat.

Sarah Bramblette on The Doctors, photograph courtesy of The Doctors on social media

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