Scleroderma Awareness Month
Scleroderma is one of the rare diseases treated at the Royal Free which is being highlighted through the Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month
Scleroderma at the Royal Free
Scleroderma, also called systemic sclerosis, is a severe and potentially life-threatening rheumatic disease that is rare, affecting 1 in 10000 people. There is no cure for scleroderma but treatments of complications in the lung and kidney are improving and progress is being made in understanding the disease. It causes scarring and damage to the blood vessels and internal organs such as the lung, heart and kidney. It also leads the hardening or thickening of skin, hence the name scleroderma (“hard skin”).
Despite the serious impact of scleroderma on vital organs and quality of life, it receives much less attention than other commoner medical problems and this has limited progress in understanding and treating the disease. The Royal Free Hospital has the largest centre specialising in scleroderma in the UK and it is led by Professor Chris Denton. The unit undertakes ground-breaking research to bring benefit for patients, for example to understand the root cause of the disease and to test new potential therapies. Donations to support the clinical and research activity of the Scleroderma Unit are invaluable as they help to fund research projects that will ultimately help us to provide better and safer treatments for patients.
Nicola Whitehill has been living with scleroderma for many years and is the patient's voice for those with the condition as well as a voiciferous participant in clinical trials led by those carrying out research.
During this month you can follow her blog, support research and wear your #SclerodermaFreeWorld T-shirt to support her and others living with Scleroderma.
Are you planning a fundraising event? Tell us about it!