My mother was diagnosed with Raynaud’s phenomenon, approximately 25 years ago. Her hands would turn blue and purple and she would often have to wear gloves to complete the most basic of chores, such as hanging clothes or mowing the lawn. Over time, she developed ulcers on her fingers that would break open. She underwent surgery, to cut some of the nerves, which did provide limited relief of her symptoms. A few years later, Mom was diagnosed with Scleroderma. She suffered severe scarring of the lungs, which eventually led to a diagnosis of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Lung transplant was discussed with our family and we travelled to Toronto for her to undergo various tests to determine eligibility. Unfortunately, the scarring of her lungs progressed rapidly and she passed away before being placed on the lung transplant list.

The year following my mother’s passing, I decided to attend the Walk in the Park for Scleroderma, as an event to honour her memory. I met a few members of the Scleroderma Society of Nova Scotia and offered my assistance to the group going forward. Over the next few months, I took on the role as Chair of the Run/Walk and also became Vice President of the Society. I feel that by providing my support to those who are living with the disease, I am honouring the struggle that my mother experienced for many years. Hopefully , as a group, we can help to enhance the lives of those living with Scleroderma.