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Stories from the Tri-State Chapter

Staying Brave and Positive - Nichole's Scleroderma Journey

Written by: Teri Gerson

Nichole is now 26 years old, and it’s 10 years since her diagnosis, which she received when she was in the 10th grade.
Nichole developed what appeared to be bruising on her right thigh, and as a cheerleader, she thought the bruising was
a result of that activity. When it didn’t go away when the cheerleading season ended, and because her grandmother
had suffered from Scleroderma, her mother took her to a dermatologist for a skin biopsy. Although initially Nichole’s
diagnosis was Localized Scleroderma, she is now somewhere between localized and systemic because she has
symptoms of both... Read more >>

Tameka Nelson's Story

Written by: Teri Gerson

Tameka first became aware of Scleroderma when she experienced breathing difficulties and coughing when sleeping and thought she was experiencing a recurrence of bronchitis. Her doctor agreed and prescribed medication which was ineffective. Then, one day at work she noticed significant swelling of her feet and a blue discoloration of her hands and feet. ... Read more >>

Patient Story - William Villanueva

Written by: Alexsaundra Zywicki

Anybody with the opportunity to experience a western or central New York winter is familiar with the unexpected flurries, blizzards that leave your car buried beneath feet of heavy snow and early mornings spent clearing the driveway. William “Will” Villanueva, a native of Rochester, is no stranger to the harsh snow fall and cold temperatures - until one winter something felt different. While shoveling he noticed that his hands were becoming numb and exceptionally painful with a peculiar coloring of his fingers... Read more >>

Patient Story - Rachael Barta

Written by: Alexsaundra Zywicki

Rachael Barta is a native of Connecticut where she currently resides, spending her free time baking,watching television and visiting her family whenever possible. She has a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology from the University of Connecticut. At the start of the year, she began a new journey to continue her education pursuing a medical technician certification allowing her to work as a generalist in a laboratory... Read more >>