We are thrilled to welcome lymphedema treatment specialist Betty Westbrook as our new Clinical Advisor! Betty joins Adie MacKenzie and Kelly Sturm as key members of our advisory team. These three experts have extensive experience treating and working with lymphedema patients, their families, and their caregivers. Our team at AIROS Medical relies on these seasoned clinicians to help us answer questions from therapists, physicians, and patients, support lymphedema educational efforts, and drive product development. We are so thankful for them and look forward to giving our customers, colleagues, and clinical partners more access to their knowledge base moving forward!

Betty is a Physical Therapist Assistant certified in advanced lymphedema management. Through her passion to educate others about lymphedema, she created the “Lymphedema Podcast.” The podcast introduced her to many more opportunities to advocate for the underserved lymphedema community. In 2019, Betty created the first summer camp for children with lymphedema in the United States. Camp Watchme is a time for children with lymphedema and their parents to immerse themselves in a community of others who understand exactly what they are going through. She continues to work closely with the Brylan’s Feat Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps provide necessary treatment to pediatric lymphedema patients who are looking for help, raise awareness about lymphedema, and promote education of the condition. Advocacy, education, and community are three things Betty values most as a voice for the lymphedema community.

Read below to learn more about Betty, her passion for lymphedema treatment, and why she decided to work with us at AIROS Medical.

Betty, what inspires you to help people with this condition every day?

I became a physical therapist assistant because I wanted to help people. It wasn’t long that I realized my passion leans strongly toward helping those who are overlooked or seem to “fall through the cracks”. Lymphedema is a condition that does not spare the young, the rich, or the healthy bodied. So many people are looking for answers to their uncommon symptoms and I aim to give them hope that there is treatment to manage their symptoms while encouraging them to live a healthy and active life. That is why I look for unconventional ways to educate and encourage people through Lymphedema Podcast.

When did you start Lymphedema Podcast? What was your hope and goal in creating this resource, and why?

Lymphedema Podcast was launched at the beginning of 2019, with a hope and a prayer that someone would find it helpful. Today it is listened to in more than 80 countries around the world and has more than 100 helpful episodes for patients, medical professionals, and caretakers. Initially, I had the idea so my active patients could listen when they had a question about something I had mentioned in the clinic. That idea grew to address questions from people all over the world that would email me with a specific issue. From there I began reviewing products and featuring  resources that were helpful to me and other clinicians.

My primary goal in creating the podcast was to educate and inform, while encouraging others they are not alone on their journey. Each episode I sign off with a quote from Mother Theresa “Loneliness is the most terrible poverty.” This podcast is here for you on your journey with lymphedema. Ultimately, that is what it is all about.

How did you go about starting the first summer camp for children with lymphedema in the United States? What does Camp Watchme look like today?

It was during an interview on the podcast that I was first introduced to idea of a summer camp. There was one in Italy (and now many other countries) that sparked my curiosity for why there is something here for children with lymphedema. About 75 days after that podcast conversation the pilot session for Camp Watchme was launched with five families from the United States.

Camp Watchme has grown far beyond my wildest dreams. We now host three sessions a summer with families from the United States and Canada. The five families we started with have grown to more than 30 families with more than 50 volunteers and advocates joining us every summer. It has been an honor and pleasure to meet each camper and their families. Camp may be just a few days in the summer but we are a family after camp and work year around with families from that point forward. It really is special.

What do you think is essential for people to know about the patients that deal with this condition on a daily basis?

To me it is important that the people living with lymphedema are seen as people first, not their lymphedema. After acknowledging them as a person it is important to see their unique struggles in both their physical presentation as well as mental and emotional challenges. Every human deserves the respect and acknowledgment of their existence no matter how challenging their condition is. I have heard countless stories of people being dismissed, forgotten, and neglected because their symptoms don’t fit into a “diagnosis box.” I hope to never leave someone with that impression when they express to me their unique challenge living with lymphedema.

What do you want the world to know about AIROS Medical, and what are you most excited about joining our team?

I want the world to know that AIROS Medical has a genuine interest in helping others with their products. At this point I think I have known the team for about five years, and I truly feel honored to be part of the team here. I am looking forward to lending my skills and talents to promote education for clinicians and patients. The product is already great and providing patients with great home outcomes, I am just glad to be a part of the future at AIROS Medical.

Darren Behuniak
Darren Behuniak

Darren is a co-founder of AIROS Medical and serves as Vice President of Operations & Marketing. His key responsibilities include: Purchasing & Inventory Management, Product Strategy & Development, Marketing & Sales Alignment, and FDA Regulatory Compliance & Quality Support.

LymphedemaLymphedema TherapistsBetty WestbrookLymphedema PodcastClinical Advisor