Francine Schwartz Schuler
My name is Francine Schwartz Schuler and I am a Lipedema and Lipolymphedema patient. I have a BS in Economics, with a Double Major in Political Science and a Minor in Theater from The University of Tampa.
I was lucky enough to pursue a dream to be a Dresser on Broadway, which I successfully did for 25 years, starting at “Phantom of the Opera”, followed by 12 years at “Les Miserables”. I took leaves to do amazing shows like “Carousel”, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, “Equus”, “Passing Strange”, and others. I also worked for 10 years in the Wardrobe Department at “Wicked”, and worked as a sub-Dresser at a bunch of shows and ended my career with “Book of Mormon” and “Matilda”. In 2014 I moved to the Atlanta area to be with my High School sweetheart. I worked on a few TV Shows and Films until I was struck with Sjogren’s Syndrome and no longer had the dexterity in my hands and fingers so i retired.
I have struggled with my weight since before Kindergarten and rose to over 425lbs in adulthood. I was always misdiagnosed as only having Obesity and constantly told I was non-compliant because I could never lose enough weight, especially from the bottom half of my body. I cried in my Lipedema surgeon’s office when she diagnosed me and told me “it wasn’t my fault”. Thankfully due to Weight Loss Surgery and Lipedema surgeries I have lost 230lbs and am working on losing 30 more. When I started my Lipedema surgery I was immobile and needed a walker then wheelchair. After having 5 surgeries on my legs, and following the modalities of CDT, I am able to walk without assistance.
My new passion in life is to raise awareness of Lipedema so that ladies won’t have to endure what I did. I am a Moderator on the Facebook group “Liposuction for Lipedema” with over 8k members now. I’ve been doing a lot of research and am able to educate my members on ways to fight this horrible debilitating and disfiguring disease. I am grateful and honored to be on the Board of Lighthouse Lymphedema Network as the Treasurer and Lipedema Liaison so I can learn and teach others about Lipedema.