This 10-Year-Old Refuses to Let Scleroderma Get the Best of Her

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Ten-year-old Grace began experiencing symptoms of scleroderma in 2015 when she and her family were living in China. Grace was having a hard time brushing her teeth as she couldn’t open her mouth wide enough, and her mom began noticing changes in her daughter’s appearance.

MORE: Wyatt the Warrior uses baseball to raise awareness of scleroderma.

According to a report in Click on Detroit, doctors in China couldn’t figure out what was happening to Grace so the family returned to the U.S. to find answers. After tests at various different hospitals, they finally got the diagnosis of systemic scleroderma — a rare autoimmune disease that causes the body to overproduce collagen leading to the thickening of the skin and fibrosis of organs.

As well as affecting her skin, Grace’s lungs and esophagus were also involved and she needed chemotherapy treatment, as well as immunoglobulin and steroids.

Thankfully, the treatment was effective and Grace is now much better. She will continue to be treated for the disease which will be with her for life, but she is determined not to let it get in her way.

MORE: A look at six types of scleroderma.

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