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Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is a chronic, often progressive and devastating autoimmune disease in which the body's autoimmune system attacks its owntissues. There are 300,000 Americans with Scleroderma, and four out of five are women - usually stricken in the prime of life. The cause of Scleroderma is unknown and the length or course of the disease is unpredictable. It is characterized by swelling of the hands and feet, stiffness, overwhelming fatigue and extreme sensitivity to cold. As the skin hardens, the disease may begin to affect internal organs such as the kidneys, lungs and heart. Its symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.
It is difficult to solicit funds for research and public awareness for Scleroderma due to the small number of patients (just over 300,000 nationally) who have this disease. It is called an "Orphan Disease" in government lingo, and as such, receives a small percentage of the funds earmarked for research. That's why it is so necessary for interested individuals to do what they can to raise awareness and funds for Scleroderma! We can only hope that someday, disease will have a cure, but for now, the fight is still on in many arenas.
Although there is no cure for Scleroderma at the present time, there are many treatments available. And, of course, there is always hope that in the not -too - distant future, medical research will find a cure. Research for Scleroderma is increasing each year. In fact, some of this research is made possible by your generous contributions. The Scleroderma Foundation is a 501(c) (3) national nonprofit organization serving the interests of persons with Scleroderma. The Foundation's chapters and support groups nationwide help to carry out its three-fold mission of support, education, and research. To learn more about my nonprofit, please go to the website-- http://www.scleroderma.org/chapter/delaware_valley/
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