Finding Strength – a Column by Lisa Weber

Lisa is the married mother of two beautiful girls. She holds a master’s degree and currently teaches third grade. She is extremely passionate about overcoming challenges while living with a rare autoimmune disease called scleroderma. This systemic disease attacks her entire body inside and out. Still, she manages to continue doing the things she loves: cooking (poorly), building furniture, jogging (slowly), and making clothes. She will tell you everything she does is perfectly imperfect! One of her life goals is to help raise awareness for rare diseases and to continue her personal fight to survive and thrive until a cure is found.

How Survivor’s Guilt Is Yet Another Symptom of Scleroderma

Each time I read about another scleroderma warrior losing their battle, a tremendous weight crushes my soul — a combination of sadness, anger, and guilt. I’ll always remember the fear I could hear in my mother’s voice when I first discussed my scleroderma diagnosis with her. And in…

I Can’t Control Life, but I Can Control My Mind

My first time trying to meditate was a complete failure. I couldn’t contort my legs to look like a pretzel, to mimic the “meditation pose” I’d always seen in movies. After several fruitless attempts, I decided to just do my best to sit up straight, relax my mind, and focus…

Despite Naked Body Inspections, I Still Love CellCept

Back when we had to patiently sit through TV commercials, I would shake my head in confusion after hearing all the possible side effects of the medications being advertised. I was baffled that someone would be crazy enough to risk their lives for a prescription. Until I became that person.

Taking My Next Step Without Scleroderma’s Permission

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” I read this Tony Robbins quote when I was diagnosed with scleroderma in 2014, and my takeaway was to focus on my strength and will to survive. I came across this quote again, eight years later. Only this time, I realized…

Celebrating Signs That Scleroderma Awareness Is Increasing

Note: The headline of this story was updated April 19, 2022, to clarify that scleroderma isn’t becoming less rare, but rather awareness of the disease is increasing. One evening in January 2014, I answered a call from my doctor’s office. After going over my lab results, a nurse nonchalantly…