Originally experiencing Raynaud’s syndrome I was eventually diagnosed with Scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease I had never heard of. Later manifesting symptoms of CREST and Sjogren’s syndromes, I chose to believe that the scleroses was localized rather than systemic.

In 2017 I experienced renal crisis (kidney failure) and cardiac involvement. Four hospital stays within ten months and outpatient treatments including plasma exchange, hemodialysis and later peritoneal dialysis. Experimenting with a variety of medications including ACE inhibitors, endothelin receptor antagonists, blood thinner, and immune suppressants. I decided against seeking a kidney donor as I understood the disease could potentially destroy the new kidney as well.

Currently seeking a stem cell transplant, a rare/experimental form of Scleroderma treatment in Canada.

While I definitely felt periods of anxiety and discouragement throughout this experience, for some reason I never felt afraid. Perhaps it was the amazing team of health care professionals providing my care, the way I was brought up, or just my disposition, but I was optimistic that as bad as things got that everything would somehow turn out okay. I believe that some of my strategies to remain optimistic have helped my attitude and physical outcomes.

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