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While her twenty-something peers were dating and socializing, Roseanne Smith of Plato, Texas had locked herself away from the world.
That’s because, at the age of 18, she woke up to a horrible sight — her right ankle and foot was swollen to the point she could no longer look down and see her toes. And it happened without any warning or explanation.
Despite the fact her leg continued to grow larger and heavier, Roseanne’s other leg remained skinny. Doctors had no idea what was causing her limb to swell up like a “tree trunk” or “elephant’s leg.”
Not only did her condition cause physical discomfort and immobility, but it also ruined Roseanne’s personal life.
She was ridiculed and mocked, and strangers would constantly stare at her leg. It also prevented her from dating, as men who would otherwise be interested in her turned her away when they saw one of her legs was so much bigger than the other.
Roseanne grew more and more insecure as doctors still couldn’t solve her problem — until she noticed a newspaper article about a young ballerina who suffered from the same thing…
Not only did lymphedema cause Roseanne physical discomfort and immobility, but it also ruined her personal life. She was so embarrassed by her large limb that she tried everything she could to hide her led underneath her clothes.
Roseanne spent her 20s and 30s isolating herself from the world. Men, who would otherwise want to date her, would lose interest when they saw her leg.
“Everywhere I would go people would stare, point, whisper and make cruel comments, they would call me ‘the girl with the big leg,’ which made me feel very sensitive and insecure.”
After nearly two years of fundraising for a new type of treatment, Roseanne flew to South Korea to visit Dr. Shim. In April 2016, she had 30 pints of lymphatic fluid drained from her leg and stem cells injected to restart her lymphatic system. She now receives monthly injections that have already reduced her leg by half its size!
For the first time in more than two decades, Roseanne is able to walk without dragging her larger limb. She hopes her leg will soon return to its normal size.
Meet Roseanne in the video below, and please SHARE her story with your friends on Facebook.
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