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LAOSA Newsletter 2016

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                                                           NEWSLETTER 2016

Dear LAOSA Members,

Welcome to all of our new LAOSA members in 2016!

I am honoured by the opportunity to lead the way forward and inspire current and future members of the Lymphoedema Association of South Africa- LAOSA. On behalf of LAOSA, I would like to express a debt of gratitude to all of the hard working members of the Executive Committee who have worked diligently to move the association forward to the point it is at today.  A huge thank you to all of the previous EXCO team- Donnee Ness, Isla Muhl, Gillian Freese, Wim de Klerk, Thea van Schoor and Jennifer Blenkinsop.  An exceptional thank you to Rogini Pillay who has been at the helm as President and Secretary over the past 4 years, tirelessly contributing her selfless time and energy to building this Association on the foundation of integrity in fulfilling the LAOSA Vision and Mission.

As President of LAOSA, it is my intention to continue the LAOSA Vision of “Lymphoedema Care for All”.  I would like to inspire and encourage all of our members to embrace the LAOSA Mission Statement of “To be a Collaborative Association which strives to promote quality Lymphoedema Management, Education, Awareness and Research in South Africa”.  We need to spread awareness that there is quality care for Lymphoedema and Oedema related conditions.  It is our duty as the specialists in the field of Lymphology to step out of our comfort zones and share information about this relatively unknown and under-diagnosed condition.  We are here to stay and to positively impact the quality of lives of those affected.  We can do this by educating the medical community, allied health professionals and Lymphoedema patients.

As a group, we need to support each other to promote continuing education and research based therapy techniques.  Through attending Lymphoedema Management Certification training, we can maintain a high standard of care and always work in integrity.  We must provide excellent care to patients previously told that “There is nothing that can be done for this swelling condition.”  Our aim should be to inspire a new generation of practitioners to follow in our footsteps.  Each one of you being part of this association is playing an integral role in pioneering Lymphoedema Management and Awareness in South Africa.  I look forward to collaborating with each one of you as we expand our professional community and move forward with more Lymphoedema Awareness into the future.

Warmest Regards,

Suzi Davey

President of LAOSA

Get to know the executive Committee of LAOSA


Suzi Davey



Suzi is an Occupational Therapist residing in Durbanville, Cape Town with her husband, three young children and two dogs. She has always been interested in the Lymphatic System and was working in an Outpatient Rehab department of a hospital in Miami FL when she was approached by an Oncologist to go the Lymphoedema Course and to start a Lymphoedema Program at the Hospital. As soon as she got back from the course she had a whole case load of patients scheduled and LOVED IT as she was making a difference and helping people who had been told that nothing can be done for them. Her credentials include OT HPCSA Registration Exam in South Africa (2015), Lymphoedema Certification Dr. Vodder School Intl (1998), LANA certified (2000), ILWTI Certification (2015). She started Lymphatic Education Africa in October 2015 and ran her first Course in Durban in March 2016. Her areas of expertise involve Lymphoedema, Wound Care, Elastic Taping, Lymphoedema Research, Compression Garments, Devices and Alternative Compression Products. She joined LAOSA in March 2014 as a member, was voted in for Membership at the AGM in March 2015, and Voted in as President at the AGM in 2016. Suzi says her aims for LAOSA are to lead the way forward encouraging and being an example to all members to spread awareness about Lymphoedema Therapy in South Africa.  She is busy with Lymphoedema Certification Courses for 2017 through ILWTI and is developing a course geared toward certifying therapists, nurses and doctors in the Government Healthcare System through a module course program which makes it easier for working professionals to attend. She has made lymphoedema her life’s work and loves it. When she has a rare spare moment she enjoys hiking, sushi and wine farms.


Candice Kuschke






Candice qualified with a BSc Physiotherapy (Wits). She has also completed training as a CDT therapist (Leduc and FG MLD technique) as well as training through LTA (Lymphoedema Training Academy, UK). She resides in Johannesburg Gauteng but has lived and worked in the UK where she was given the position of Lead Oncology Physiotherapist at the BUPA Cromwell Hospital in London and attended a number of courses specialising in oncology rehabilitation and breast cancer related complications. She is a member of the SASP, British Lymphology Society, LAOSA and HPCSA. She would like to see LAOSA become a well established and recognised association in South Africa and hopes to establish a lymphoedema service in the public sector in Johannesburg. She has a special interest in complications associated with breast cancer treatment and cancer survivorship. She enjoys wild life photography, the Kruger Park and olives.


Carolyn Hoffman





Carolyn is a Therapeutic Massage Therapist with a speciality in Lymphoedema Management (CDT trained in Australia). She is located in Claremont, Cape Town. She has been involved with LAOSA from its inception and is a Member of Massage Association of South Africa. She enjoys treating patients with lymphoedema as patients are so grateful to find somebody not only sympathetic to them but also with skills that can help them. The educational aspect is one of the main things she enjoys. She would like to see LAOSA reach a far wider proportion of health professionals and patients, as people really struggle to find suitable therapists. She would like to see more patients being referred BEFORE lymphoedema sets in, ie at-risk-patients being sent for educational purposes. She relaxes by spending time with friends and family and enjoys walking, reading and cooking.


Nicole van Besouw




Nicole is an occupational therapist in Claremont, Cape Town. Her expertise include rehabilitation within the realm of Cancer Care/Palliative Care, Hand and Upper limb rehabilitation and Lymphoedema Management. OT philosophy remains the foundation of all her work. She hopes to contribute to the pioneering work of LAOSA in creating awareness about Lymphoedema, networking amongst interested role-players, and together with LAOSA advancing skills through professional development courses and learning from each other. She strives to deliver a holistic service combining OT principles with her Lymphoedema Skills set and hopes to continue being able to help patients who come her way. She enjoys working closely with other therapists, sharing knowledge and growing friendships.  She is a member of OTASA, and has been a member of SASHT.  She is also a member of Vascular Work/Core Group for Limb 4 Life and has been a member of LAOSA since her certification in 2013. She enjoys running the Table Mountain Trails and leisurely Saturday morning breakfasts with her husband.


Rogini Pillay




Rogini’s qualifications include BSc OT 2000 (UCT), CDT 2010 (Norton School of lymphoedema therapy), MScMedSc (Rehab) 2014 (U. Stellenbosch). She has been involved with LAOSA since its inception first as secretary and then voted into the position of president (but still held secretary) and is now involved in the membership portfolio. She is based in the Western Cape and started the first Lymphoedema service in the public sector at Tygerberg Hospital and took it to Groote Schuur as well. She has already advanced LAOSA for 2016 by getting the organisation registered as an NPO. Her next mission is the SA consensus document/position paper. Provincially, she has also managed to get lymphoedema compression garments on tender.  She is passionate about treating lymphoedema as it is a much needed service, and the patients (there are many!!) seen in the public sector need effective treatment. She feels it should not only be seen as a private service. She also finds the impact effective treatment has on the patient super satisfying. She enjoys family time, reading and watching movies, although her husband is convinced she is a robot who does not know how to relax.




Dr Gila Nussbaum





Gila completed her medical degree at Wits and went on to do her 2-year internship at CMJAH (Johannesburg Hospital) and her 1-year community service at Tambo Memorial Hospital. She then continued working in the public sector in the field of Emergency Medicine as well as in private for Netcare 911’s Aeromedical division. She has completed multiple Emergency Medicine related certifications. She has a qualification in Disability & Medico-legal Assessment (ABIME) and has been working for the last few years in this field. She has a personal interest in Lymphoedema with a particular focus on Primary Lymphoedemas. In May 2016 she completed the ILWTI course and qualified as a lymphoedema therapist. Her aim as a co-opted member of LAOSA is to bring a greater awareness of lymphoedema and the available treatment modalities to the medical fraternity. She would also like to provide medical support and guidance to other therapists while at the same time developing an effective referral network. She is based in Johannesburg with her husband, two young children and two cats. Her favourite past-times are cooking, baking and eating.


• BIGOSA (Breast Interest Group of Southern Africa) Scientific Conference, Johannesburg 21-22 October 2016. Go to for Registration info.
• LAOSA AGM 3, 4, 5 March 2017, to be held in Johannesburg. Venue and programme to be confirmed.

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