About

The Lymphedema Association of Manitoba 2021-2022 Board of Directors:

Adrienne Pearson, Isabelle Thorvardson, Ace Zhao, Amanda Sobey, Kim Radford, Ron Wersch, Jessica Diamond and Bonnie Ash

What We Do

Support for those affected with or at risk of primary or secondary lymphedema.

The Lymphedema Association of Manitoba (LAM) is a patient focused, non-profit organization founded in 2011. The LAM is working to create awareness and improve access to quality lymphedema information, resources and services across Manitoba.

We are committed to improving the lives of people living with or who are at risk of developing lymphedema. There is much work to be done!

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Current Board Members (elected at the AGM of Oct 2021)

Adrienne Pearson (President)

Term to October 2022

Adrienne has been a registered nurse in Manitoba since 2006. She is specialized in Wound, Ostomy, Continence and lymphedema therapy. She has worked as a Skin & Wound Consultant at Seven Oaks General Hospital since 2012. She Chairs a Skin & wound committee and is an active member of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Skin & Wound Practice Committee. She regularly lectures and mentors clinicians from multiple disciplines on the topics of pressure injuries, diabetic wound management and care of the venous/arterial lower leg. Over the years, Adrienne has become increasingly passionate about lymphedema, as she started recognizing and treating the condition in the inpatient hospital setting. She is passionate about wellness promotion and narrowing gaps in education, awareness and best treatment for lymphedema, especially in acute and subacute care settings. Adrienne is honored to be a part of the LAM board of directors and strives to further lymphedema education and access to appropriate and timely care in Manitoba.

Amanda Sobey (Vice President & Secretary)

Term to October 2023

Since 2001, Amanda has been battling an incurable illness known as lymphedema in her right leg. When she was diagnosed, she was devastated to learn there was nothing she could do, besides wear compression and receive MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage).

Through her own personal trials of health and wellness, she has managed to significantly reduce her edema and improve her mental health through exercise and nutrition. She has made a total mind & body transformation and enjoys competing as an All-Natural Bodybuilder.

Professionally, Amanda is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutritionist, and a Lymphie Coach. She absolutely LOVES what she does, as she has tuned her pain into purpose. Amanda is committed to improving the education and awareness in the Lymphedema & Lipoedema Community, in the health care system and Government. Amanda’s goal is to educate others about this condition and what is needed to overcome their health struggles.

Kim Radford (Treasurer)

Term to October 2023

Kim graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and certified as an Athletic Therapist. She has been working at Diamond Athletic Medical Supplies since 2004. In 2008 she attended an expert garment fitter course and took on the role of custom compression garment fitter. She regularly attends conferences to continue learning about lymphedema so she can better help her customers. She hopes that broader education and better awareness will allow patients to receive equal care and better funding.

Isabelle Thorvardson

Term to October 2022

Isabelle graduated with a Bachelor of Education in May 1972 but never went back to that field of work until 1987. She then taught for 19.5 years until she had breast cancer surgery in May 2003. She returned to work for a year and then took early retirement in June 2004. It was in June of 2005 that Isabelle developed lymphedema in her arm after her first bout of cellulitis. She now lives with lymphedema every day of her life.

Isabelle was a charter member of the Lymphedema Association of Manitoba. She spent five years on the board from its beginning, took a leave for one year and now has returned for a two year term. Since she lives in a rural community, living with lymphedema is more challenging and certainly more expensive, as each treatment requires more travel. LAM’s mission statement of promoting greater awareness to all healthcare professionals is always her prime goal because this is a lifelong condition. There is still so much education that needs to happen before all lymphedema patients receive the care they require.

Ace Zhao

Term to October 2022

Ace is currently a student at the University of Manitoba, Asper School of Business. He is in his fourth year of his Bachelor of Commerce degree with a double major in Accounting and Finance. By joining LAM he hopes to make a positive impact on the community, especially those affected with lymphedema and elicit awareness for those who don’t. Ace believes his tech-savviness could better equip the organization to take on future challenges.

Ron Wersch

Term to October 2023

Ron is a retired 30 year Federal Government employee whose career was mainly in Information Technology. He possesses three professional certifications from Microsoft and another from CompTIA A+, as well as a Business Administration diploma from Red River College.

Ron was born with bi-lateral primary lymphedema from his knees to his toes. His condition, albeit being managed, was a factor in his decision to retire when he did at 52 years of age.

He brings his IT background to LAM and his desire to give back to the community that has helped him deal with his affliction over many decades after being diagnosed.

With his condition, he was not able to participate actively in sports in his formative years; but is a great supporter of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (and attended the 2019 Grey Cup in Calgary and 2021 in Hamilton!) and is a Winnipeg Jets season ticket holder.

Bonnie Ash

Term to October 2023

Bonnie graduated from the University of Winnipeg as an Early Childhood Educator III. She works full time as the Executive Director of a licensed early education program for children 3 months to 12 years of age. Located in St. Vital and St. Boniface, I manage 10 locations; the largest centre in the province. Through her work, she has close ties with all levels and many departments of government, piloting new programs and approaches that benefit children and families. Currently she is the Co-Chair of two Ministers Consultation Table Committees with a mandate to transform the early years’ sector. She also works closely with the nonprofit agencies in my communities in order to ensure that services are directed where they will have the best mpact.

On a personal note, Bonnie is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Bonnie is new to this disease, and was fortunate to finally receive a diagnosis of Lymphedema after an accident in April 2021. Bonnie looks forward to working with this very experienced group.

Jessica Diamond

Term to October 2023

Jessica began her involvement in the family business; Diamond Athletic Medical Supplies as a teenager in high school. She attended university in Vancouver Island and then returned to Manitoba to study Nursing at Red River College. After completing 4 terms of nursing school she began working full time at Diamond Athletic Medical Supplies. Recently she became involved in custom garment fitting. Learning more about lymphedema and the lack of awareness and resources sparked her interest in becoming a board member. Her hope is to continue the work of LAM in increasing awareness and education to ensure that people who are diagnosed with Lymphedema have access to resources to best manage their diagnosis.