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Dancer, 19, career on line as she tries to raise £18,000 for surgery to stop rare medical condition 

Top dancer’s career is on the line aged just 19 as she tries to raise £18,000 to pay for surgery to stop her leg ballooning due to rare medical condition

  • Rachael Boggiano’s career plans have been thrown into doubt after diagnosis
  • Boggiano, a musical theatre student at the Italia Conti Academy in London, has lymphoedema, a failure of the lymphatic system
  • Costly surgery to correct the condition is not available on the NHS 
  • Doctors estimate that her right leg is now some 30 per cent bigger than her left 

Rachael Boggiano has dreamed of performing in the West End since she was little, working hard to earn dance roles and a place at a prestigious performing arts school.

But the 19-year-old’s plans have been thrown into doubt – after she was diagnosed with a chronic condition causing her right leg to swell dramatically.

Miss Boggiano, a musical theatre student at the Italia Conti Academy in London, has lymphoedema, a failure of the lymphatic system – which regulates the movement of fluids around the body – causing limbs to retain water and balloon.

Rachael Boggiano, 19, (pictured above) has been diagnosed with lymphoedema, a failure of the lymphatic system causing limbs to retain water and balloon. Doctors estimate that her right leg is now some 30 per cent bigger than her left

Boggiano, 19, is trying to raise £18,000 to pay for private surgery to correct the condition that isn't funded by the NHS

Boggiano, 19, is trying to raise £18,000 to pay for private surgery to correct the condition that isn’t funded by the NHS

The student says the only way to save her career is specialist surgery to create a new pathway to drain fluid away through her veins.

But the surgery is not available on the NHS and now Miss Boggiano is desperately trying to raise £18,000 to pay for it to be carried out privately. Yesterday the teenager, from Chester, said: ‘The big goal is to perform in the West End. I’ve wanted to do that since I was a little girl.

‘I’ve not given up on my dream but my main concern is that the condition will affect my career.’

Rachael Boggiano is a musical theatre student at the Italia Conti Academy in London, shown here performing on stage. Her ambition is to perform in the West End

Rachael Boggiano is a musical theatre student at the Italia Conti Academy in London, shown here performing on stage. Her ambition is to perform in the West End

Rachael in Hairspray. Miss Boggiano added: ‘The problem is that it is only going to get worse over time. I’ve tried so hard to persevere with other treatments but surgery is my best option.’

Rachael in Hairspray. Miss Boggiano added: ‘The problem is that it is only going to get worse over time. I’ve tried so hard to persevere with other treatments but surgery is my best option.’

Miss Boggiano noticed swelling in her right leg in 2017 while rehearsing for a jazz show at Paul McCartney’s acting school, the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, where she was a pupil – but she was not diagnosed with lymphoedema until last year.

Doctors estimate that her right leg is now some 30 per cent bigger than her left, retaining around four pints of excess fluid.

Miss Boggiano added: ‘The problem is that it is only going to get worse over time. I’ve tried so hard to persevere with other treatments but surgery is my best option.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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