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New Interactive Tool Illustrates How Autoimmune Disease Affects the Body

The Scleroderma Foundation is excited to announce that it has launched a new resource on its website.

scleroderma body thumbnail vertical.jpg The organization created an interactive body tool where website visitors can hover over various parts of the body to see how scleroderma affects a person's body, including the skin, gastrointestinal, eyes, kidneys, lungs and other systems.

"We have wanted to complete a project like this for quite a long time,” said Kerri Connolly, Director of Programs and Services at the Foundation’s National Office. “There are many similar tools available online but they don’t speak to the specific nature of scleroderma and its precise symptoms. We hope our website visitors will find this a useful resource, especially for those who think they may have scleroderma or those who have recently been diagnosed.”

The Foundation collaborated with Gina Millard (, a New Hampshire-based artist to create a body image specifically about scleroderma. She graduated from New Hampshire Institute of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting in 2011. Millard’s sister Diana, 23, has scleroderma. “This was a fun project for me to do. It kept me motivated after I had finished school. It is a project that I will show proudly in my portfolio and it will help people learn about this disease, which I have a personal connection to,” said Millard. “When we were growing up and I helped my sister see past the marks of the disease, it wasn’t easy. But, she is beautiful inside and out. She doesn’t let scleroderma get in her way.”

The organization worked closely with the team at Cathexis Partners ( for support on the technical aspects that the interactive tool required. “The Scleroderma Foundation approached us with the feasibility of a body map concept. There were examples out there that use Flash and other technologies to achieve a similar effect, but our developers did not feel such a dependency was necessary and set to work with a more minimalist strategy. We were able to deliver this stable, cross-environment, infinitely-editable solution for a third the cost of a similar Flash-based solution,” said Mark Becker, the firm’s founding partner. Cathexis Partners previously helped with the development and rollout of the organization’s website redesign in 2012.

To view the interactive body tool, visit


For more information, contact:

Christina Relacion, Communications Manager
(800) 722-4673, Ext. 243


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