Katia with her Surgeon Dr. Gruener and Dr. Max Gomez from CBS News
Have you ever felt like you and your body are in a battle? Katia Page is sharing her inspirational story of what she has been battling for years.
As a young girl, I had to grow up really early because when I was 8 years old my mother started suffering from mental illness steming from someone slipping something in her drink. Not only was I battling the reality that my mother was no longer able to take care of me, but I also had to deal with the fact that my body was failing me.
Katia at age 3 with her mom.
I never knew what was wrong with me. The doctors would tell my dad and grandma that I was just fat or obese and to go on diet. My family spent a lot of money on doctors, personal training, gym memberships and workout equipment so I could fix my body and stop swelling. It took years just to get diagnosed with Lymphedema, but something was still missing from the picture; I was still getting sicker and my body kept catching severe infections that got worse each time.
In 2011 I was sick to the point where I had infections through my entire body from DVT that went into my lungs and exploded. Fluid was backing into my lungs and I was at risk of suffocating from it. If it wasn't for the grace of God i would have been dead.
I went out and searched desperately to find what was going on with my body and it took me until spring of 2014 to find support groups online where I finally found the answer. I saw a description of Lipedema and Lymphedema together which fit my symptoms. I saw a doctor that some of the women in the support groups went to see. When I went, I was diagnosed with stage 4 Lipedema and Lymphedema. I was happy to finally figure out what was plaguing me for all these years, but was upset that no one caught it before I got to stage 4.
Katia at her annual The Lipedema Queen's Curves Meet Courage Conference and Fashion Show
When I got diagnosed, I also found out that my mother had it and it was genetic. My mom started getting sick soon afterwards and I almost lost her due to a severe infection that collapsed her lungs. Luckily, she survived but to only lose her life on September 24, 2015 to bilateral thrombosis complications of Lipedema - the same thing that almost took me in 2011. When I lost my mom it made me realize that my calling in life is to help women like me and my mother get help early so they don't end up at stage 4 or lose their life to this horrible disease. I did a documentary film with the TLC channel called My Legs Won't Stop Growing to help spread awareness about Lipedema on a large scale. I am also the Founder and President of The Lipedema Queen Organization to help women get treatments and surgeries and compression garments that insurance doesn't cover.
I realized that my life was spared for a reason. Before my mom passed away she always kept saying that people wouldn’t listen to her. Now, everytime I do a speech or news interview, the TLC documentary gets played and my mother lives on through my voice. I'm her legacy and I pray I'm giving her the voice she always wished form.
Learn more about Katia’s journey here: