This past year was a tough one for me. I thought everything was fine; I worked on the Stepping out to Cure Scleroderma Walk/10k Run 2011. I put all my energy into it. It rained. I thought what a disaster. We set up the whole event in the rain, we were drenched. I thought no one would show up, all the hard work, time, donations, sponsors, volunteers and all the awesome people that are supporting us. I didn’t want to disappoint them. I felt awful inside. Then the sky split open, the sun shined through and hundreds of people showed up. We raised more than $50,000. Somehow it all fell into place.
Three weeks later I was in the hospital for 24 days with an infection in my head. The doctors didn’t know what it was or how to cure it. Three surgeries later I was out of the hospital could barely walk, lost half my hair and knew I had to power through because that’s what I do. It took me 9 months to feel like myself again. Way too long. I want to thank you all for your support and love. I couldn’t have gotten through the past year without you. Participating in this event any way you can would mean so much to me. I appreciate you all more than you can imagine. Please, let’s make this year’s event the best so far.
Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissue. The disease, which literally means "hard skin", can cause thickening and tightening of the skin as well as serious damage to internal organs. It occurs 3 to 4 times more often in women than men, and affects children. 15% of people with this disease develop an aggressive form of diffuse systemic sclerosis, a very severe & life threatening manifestation. Regardless of the form, it is at best a life changing diagnosis with no known cause or cure and at worst one which will take a life within a few years.
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