Founder National Lymphedema Network, San Francisco, USA
Saskia R.J. Thiadens, RN, received her nursing degree from the University of Utrecht in Holland. After immigrating to the United States, she worked at Cornell University in NY. Ms. Thiadens founded and operated the first post-operative care facility in San Francisco and, at that time, became intrigued by a patient with lymphedema who had been told that nothing could be done for her swollen limb. Shortly after (July 1987), she opened the first lymphedema clinic in the U.S. (the Aurora Lymphedema Clinic) and treated over 6,000 lymphedema patients. In 1988, Ms. Thiadens founded the National Lymphedema Network, an internationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and guidance to lymphedema patients, health care professionals, and the general public. Since then, she has been an active nurse/patient advocate, and has organized 10 successful international professional conferences on lymphedema and lymphatic disorders. She has been an oncology nurse for over 20 years, a member of the Oncology Nursing Society, and the founder of The Lymphedema Management Scientific Interest Group. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and key collaborator in various lymphedema studies.