A while ago, I started research into Raynaud’s Syndrome and Scleroderma. I hoped to a) raise awareness and b) try and help raise funds.
Most people will have heard of Raynaud’s Syndrome. My daughter was diagnosed with Raynaud’s in her teens. It is quite common in teenagers and often disappears when the sufferer reaches their twenties which thankfully was the case with my daughter.
Scleroderma is another matter entirely. I didn’t know anything about it until a friend mentioned the fund raising to me.
It is a disease of the immune system rather like Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The name means “hard skin”, but the hardness is not limited to the skin and can affect the joints, blood vessels and internal organs.
It is very painful to live with and causes an endless list of symptoms.
Here are a few facts about the disease:
Scleroderma is four times more common in women than men.
It usually begins between the ages of 25 and 55.
Over 95% of those with Scleroderma have Raynaud’s, but the chances of someone with Raynaud’s actually going on to develop Scleroderma is very small.
There is no cure, but there are treatments to manage some of the symptoms.
Following diagnosis, 65% of people will survive for ten years. Research into the causes of the disease and better therapies for sufferers is vital.