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Disease Progression Stings, but It Won’t Defeat Me

“It’s time to start a more aggressive scleroderma treatment,” my local rheumatologist says, although I’m not prepared to hear it. She thinks we are losing the battle and need to fight back harder. But just like in the movies when the main character is given bad news, her words…

I’m Laughing at My Salt-and-Pepper Skin

Back in the late 1980s, I was listening to the iconic female hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa as I entered my teenage years. Today, their words would be considered mild, but back then, tunes like “Push It” and “Let’s Talk About Sex” were a hot topic in the tabloids. Like most…

Are Diamonds Really a Girl’s Best Friend?

She wasn’t my first. That bit of history belonged to Victor. Obsessed at the time with the suave and masterful Victor Newman character from the soap opera “The Young and the Restless,” I cuddled the floppy ball of fur that shared his name. Although he didn’t have any similar traits…

Scleroderma Can Be Overwhelming, but It Doesn’t Define Me

It was a particularly beautiful morning. The hot Florida sun was still low in the sky, and a light breeze kept us comfortable while we watched our youngest daughter play soccer. It was almost perfect. As usual, I was rudely reminded that my broken body needs constant attention. My bladder…

Serving Up Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine for Scleroderma Research

Every year, some of the finest performing artists donate their time and talents to Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine (CCHC) in support of research programs for the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF). The event has featured appearances by Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, Kelly Clarkson, Jimmy Fallon, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina Hall, Jimmy…

Managing the Effects of Scleroderma on Dental Health

Between dry mouth, gum disease, cavities, and tightening of the mouth, scleroderma can make dental care extra challenging. David M. Leader, DMD, MPH, is an expert on dental health and scleroderma, and a longtime supporter of those with the condition. He is the director of the Emergency Clinic…