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A trip to Walmart changed a young woman's life forever
by Tammy Sweed

H.O.P.E. praises and Angel of HOPE - Barbara Smith. Because of Barbara the word "lymphedema" is spreading! She was shopping in Walmart one evening with her arm all bandaged from her fingers to shoulder. A woman approached her and asked her what was wrong with her arm. Barbara replied "I have lymphedema." Then she began to educate this woman about her condition and about how therapy at H.O.P.E. was helping her. The woman was asking because she thought that might be what her daughter had in her legs. Because Barbara took the time to share information and even went to her car for our phone number, we were are now working with this woman's daughter.

I would like to recognize the precious people that are a part of keeping H.O.P.E. alive and growing: First I'd like to recognize Janis King our insurance billing expert. Janis started with my one-woman operation in January 2002. She had no idea what lymphedema was. I taught her about lymphedema and she taught me about insurance. Together we slowly conquered insurance issues that were in the past very difficult. With a lot of time, energy and education of the insurance companies, today we now becoming more and more recognized by insurance companies. She persevered through tons of paperwork, phone calls and faxes. She is adamant to make the insurance companies aware of what lymphedema was and why it should be a covered expense. She's a fighter for the people - I'm glad to have her on my side! Janis was not only good at insurance but also at office and marketing skills. So needless to say the word got out even more as shown by the increase in clients that we help.

Janice Stanford, our Administrative Assistant, started with H.O.P.E. in September of 2003. Janice says her job is “to do everything that Tammy doesn’t.” Janice and I work well together, she keeps me straight and focused (not an easy task) and is always one step ahead of all of us. I am so impressed with the way she has transformed the office. She has amazing organizational skills and keeps the office streamlined. She just jumped right in there and has been extremely conscious of making sure everyone is taken care of. She loves people and people love her. I'm sure you will recognize her when you call - she'll be the one that's "always happy." Her enthusiasm is most appreciated.

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