Emma honored as she continues lobbying for lymphatic research

Enterprise file photo — H. Rose Schneider

Emma Detlefsen, a fourth-grader at Berne-Knox-Westerlo, likes to dance when she’s not busy lobbying for lymphatic education and research.

BERNE — Emma Detlefsen may only be 10 years old but she was honored on June 15 as a Woman of Distinction.

She accepted the award from Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, who has hosted the event for six years to recognize women from a diverse collection of fields, including community involvement, business, non-profit leadership, public service, and education.

Emma, who lives in Berne, was born with primary lymphedema in her legs and feet. In 2015, she was named youth ambassador of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, known as LE&RN, and has become a fierce advocate for change.

She has lobbied in Washington, D.C., every year since she was 7, attending more than 40 Congressional meetings to date.

Emma’s team — her parents, brother, extended family, and even former teachers — have marched with her across the Brooklyn Bridge in an event organized by LE&RN, to raise money for lymphedema research. In 2015, she was named a youth ambassador for LE&RN and gave a speech at the bridge where she told over 300 people that she would keep marching to raise funds until she is 87 years old.