Monday, May 4, 2009

Yoga Class Memorializes Rachel Levin Troxell

Just 21 days before her death, Rachel Levin Troxell, founder of LympheDIVAs, wrote in her blog, “just because I'm scared doesn’t mean I don’t have hope.” She was preparing for her final round of chemo and knew her life was on the line. Rachel’s words, which were actually given to her by her father, deliver such an important message. We often believe that to be courageous, we can’t be scared, and that to feel optimism, we must not admit fear. However, life is seldom that black and white, and even less so when you’re fighting for your life.

Like many of the women who receive support from Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Rachel developed an arsenal of weapons in her fight against breast cancer. One of her tools was yoga, which helped her manage the lymphedema she developed after breast cancer surgery. Another was her company, LympheDIVAs, which she founded with another breast cancer survivor, Robin Miller. Both women suffered from lymphedema, swelling caused by a build-up of lymph fluid in body tissue. Their doctors and therapists recommended they wear a compression sleeve to control the swelling, but the only sleeves available at the time were rough in texture and bandage-like in appearance. Both women were upset and frustrated by the lack of options in sleeves, and they decided to do something about it. Together they met with fashion designer Kristin Dudley to discuss their ideas for a more elegant and comfortable compression sleeve. The result was an array of colorful and artistic sleeves unlike anything seen before.

Rachel died January 22, 2008, at the age of 37. Rachel’s life is honored at 6:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month at a memorial yoga class to benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer at LifeSport Fitness in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia (2112 Fairmount Avenue, across from Eastern State Penitentiary). The class is open to the community, and a $5 minimum entrance donation is requested.

To learn more about LympheDIVAs, visit To view Rachel’s blog, visit To contact LifeSport Fitness, visit


  1. What a great idea. It's good to see people coming together for such a worthy cause.

    Thanks for posting,
    George Lichter

  2. It was a great experience this morning--my second Yoga Unites--the steps were soaked and it was cold, but the wonderful Jennifer Schelter kept us moving...doing sun salutations until the sun came out....

  3. I'm a Philly native. Maybe next year I'll make a visit in May, so I can attend the 2010 Yoga Unites event!