2018 Stepping Out - Detroit, MI (Michigan Chapter)

JoAnn Klaas

Our mother Joann Klaas suffered from a disease called Scleroderma.
Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease and our Mother was hospitalized many times because of this disorder. She underwent amputations of her toes and experienced open ulcers on her hands and fingers. Mom also experienced Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) with this disease, which made her heart work faster due to her pulmonary arteries constricting abnormally.

The reality is her autoimmune disease significantly reduced her from using her hands and feet normally, but it never took away her willpower. With her hands basically crippled and her feet frequently in pain, she continued to push forward day after day.

When our mother was diagnosed with this disease fifteen years ago, the doctor gave her five years to live. It was predicted that the disease would take her life. However, that same strong willpower gave our mother an added ten years of life. Eventually, the disease did spread to her lungs and reduce her mobility. It made it very difficult for her to travel from place to place, but our mom still kept fighting. She continued to fight the disease until the bitter end and refused to believe that it was going to take her life. Most recently, our mother experienced tremendous pain and cancer was found. That cancer had spread throughout her body and became the cause of her recent passing.

We will miss our mother every day and we will always remember the courageous fight that she had with scleroderma. It was difficult and painful to watch. We hope and pray that research can be done to help others who fight against this horrific disease.

Thank you for visiting my Team Fundraising page to support the "Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma" event!

Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to make a contribution to support my team’s effort to raise funds for people living with scleroderma. To make a donation, click the "Support My Team" button that appears under my photo. Then, just follow the instructions.

If you would like to join our team at the event, and walk and help raise funds, please click on “Join My Team” and follow the directions.

Please help today! Our team sincerely appreciates your support, and we ask you to please share this with anyone who you think might want to help.

Help our team bring more awareness to scleroderma so we can find a cure!

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