What is Scleroderma?
Scleroderma is a chronic, autoimmune rheumatic disease that affects the skin and other organs of the body. It is a vascular disease as it can constrict and injure blood vessels. It is a connective tissue disease as it can cause abnormal changes to the skin, tendons and bones. The symptoms and severity of the disease vary from patient to patient; for some, it is life-threatening. Depending on the subtype of illness, scleroderma can damage the lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract with debilitating results. Peripheral vasculature damage due to scleroderma can result in loss of digits or limbs. In some cases, the joints and muscles are affected, resulting in loss of mobility. As with many autoimmune diseases, patients often experience extreme fatigue. There have been advances in earlier diagnosis and there are treatments available to help particular symptoms; yet, there is still no cure.
Your gift helps improve the lives of those affected by scleroderma.
Many patients still go undiagnosed for months or even years, delaying proper treatment and care. Many physicians and other health care professionals receive minimal training about scleroderma and other autoimmune diseases. Many patients and their loved ones feel alone, as if no one understands.
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Your support is essential to ensuring the Scleroderma Foundation continues to provide the Support and Education needed to improve the lives for all affected by scleroderma, and to provide funding for Research to find a Cure!