What’s it Like Living with Scleroderma as a College Freshman?



In this Scleroderma Foundation interview from 2014, we find out a little bit about what it’s like to be diagnosed at a young age with scleroderma.

Here are 10 facts you might like to know about pediatric scleroderma here. 

As an 18-year-old college student at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, Ashton Cooper has a lot going on in her life and having scleroderma certainly doesn’t make her life any easier.

Diagnosed at just seven years old after approximately 18 months of medical tests and exams, Ashton has had to fight off bullies as well as fight the disease, but now she is enjoying life to the max. In the interview, she explains how difficult it was for her when she was younger to fully understand what having scleroderma meant, and how she had to change schools because of taunting.

However, she now has a very optimistic outlook on life and is determined to do the best she can. Once she’s graduated, Ashton hopes to join the Peace Corp and would like to work for a non-profit organization.

Find out about Scleroderma Foundation events happening near you.

Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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One comment

  1. Tomisa Starr says:

    I am an adult African-American woman (53 yrs) with diffuse systemic scleroderma, returning to a university to complete my undergraduate degree in mathematics. Like Ashton Cooper, there must be other scleroderma patients out there attending colleges and universities. What would be really helpful is a series of articles about how having scleroderma (or any chronic illness) affects a student’s life – on campus and off. I would like to read articles about how scleroderma can impact on learning, concentration and test performance, nutrition,etc.

    Perhaps a series of articles on “Living With Scleroderma: Education and Student Life”, or “Living With Scleroderma: How to Deal With Stress on the Job”, or “Living With Scleroderma: What Foods to Eat at Work for GI Motility and Stamina (or fatigue issues at work).

    Kudos, to Ms. Ashton Cooper and good luck and hope to her in her life and studies! Thank you, Wendy Henderson, for such a wonderful and inspirational article!

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