Local woman continues to spread awareness for rare disease


BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – A local woman continues raising awareness for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome after being diagnosed a few years ago.

Whitney Lavender spoke with KBTX last year to promote “Wear Orange Day,” a movement to raise awareness for the disease. For the last two years, Lavender has written to Governor Greg Abbott, who has responded with decrees to make the month of November “CRPS Awareness Month.”

The disease changed Lavender’s life completely. After months of doctors’ appointments and mountains of pain, Lavender ended up in a wheelchair and unable to bend her right leg or move it at all.

Most recently, Lavender had a life-changing surgery by having her right leg amputated above the knee right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lavender says because of the restrictions, she was alone in the hospital for a week following this procedure.

Now, Lavender is able to move around easier, and even stand, go fishing, and drive for the first time in a while. Still, her fight continues as the pain has returned.

Nonetheless, Lavender says she will always live with this disease and says she will fight for awareness as long as there is breath in her lungs.

“I want to take this rare disease that no one has heard of and nobody knows about, and give it a bigger platform and give it a bigger voice because without that, we are not going to get the treatments. We are not going to get the research. We are not going to get the cure we need. It’s not ever going to happen if we are all just silent,” said Lavender.

Her next move to help spread awareness and bring the disease to a bigger platform is to participate in the Miss USA Wheelchair competition to represent Texas.

Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.

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