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Volunteers are the heart of our work, and there is a place for you. Some of our current needs are: data entry, event activities, and committee members. If you are interested in learning more, get in touch with us.

Scl_18 copy.jpgWashington Evergreen Chapter Contact Information

Chapter Contact: Jeremy Harrison-Smith, Executive Director
P.O. Box 730
Clear Lake, WA 98235
Phone: 206-285-9822
Email: jharrisonsmith@scleroderma.org

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If you are interested in volunteering with our chapter, please contact us!

*We are currently looking for new Board Members!*

If you are interested in joining our board please let us know. We are looking for people with skills/experience in leadership and motivation, fundraising and event coordination.

To Download an board member application click HERE

The Scleroderma Foundation has many different chapters all over the United States. If you would like to look for opportunities to volunteer nationally, please take a look at our National Become a Volunteer page.

 

Vicki's Story

Vicki and Royce.jpg

 

My Scleroderma journey began in September 1995 at the age of 39. I was in Chicago to attend our son's graduation from Navy boot camp. I got a pretty new dress and high heels to wear to the ceremony. When it came time to get ready, I could not begin to get those spiffy new shoes on due to extreme swelling in my feet. When I returned home, I began to have alot of swelling and numbness in my hands as well.

My family doctor sent me to a Neurologist. He suspected I had carpal tunnel syndrome from my many years of working as a Medical Secretary. The Neurologist took one look at my hands and asked if he could see my feet. I thought, how odd,since I was there to be evaluated for carpal tunnel. When he examined my feet and saw the swelling and color changes, he said, "I'm referring you to a Rheumatologist, I believe you have an autoimmune disease." I saw a Rheumatologist in October 1995 and over the next few months developed all the symptoms of what was then called CREST.

I received my Scleroderma diagnosis in February 1996, now referred to as Limited Systemic Scleroderma.  It has been a roller coaster of various problems over the last 22 years. My biggest challenge is with ulcers, calcinosis and Scleroderma wounds. I have been dealing with debridement and calcinosis removal from my left lower leg for 6 years. The procedures are necessary, but not pleasant! I feel like my plastic surgeon is a good friend, we spend so much time together! I also face challenges with my hands, they are contracted into "claws" and I also get the calcinosis/ulcers on my fingers. I have all kinds of gadgets to help me open things and of course my hubby too!

I was able to continue work as a Medical Secretary for many years after my diagnosis, working until 2014 when the leg wound pain, fatigue and Raynaud's became too much. I was blessed to get Social Security Disability at the age of 60 and on my first application.
During the early years of my disease, I didn't know anyone else who had Scleroderma or knew what it was. I learned about a support site called Inspire. I decided to get brave and go to a National Patient conference in San Francisco with someone I connected with on Inspire. That "someone" turned out to be our very own Shelley Van Pelt! Oh my what a wonderful time we had, it was just like we had always been friends! The conference was amazing, so much information to glean and friends to make. I highly recommend that everyone try to attend one if possible!

When we moved to Mount Vernon, I joined the North Sound Scleroderma Support group. What a joy to get know these amazing folks who are so encouraging and caring. I have had the privilege of being a Co-leader these past few years. I am so thankful for everyone in our group, they have become my second family!

I am so thankful for all the support I receive from my family and especially from my husband, Royce, who is my caretaker and biggest supporter. I enjoy short leisurely trips, scrapbooking, playing with our grandchildren and visits from family and friends. 

Scleroderma has changed my life in many ways, but along with all my Sclero
sisters and brothers, I keep fighting and hoping for a cure!