BENEFITING: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Scleroderma is an unpredictable, chronic disease that can lead to life-threatening complications. An autoimmune condition, it involves the buildup of scar-like tissue in the skin and other organs, such as the heart and lungs, and can make movement and breathing difficult. It is estimated that about 300,000 people in the United States have the disease, and its toll is great.
While it affects mostly women in the prime of their lives — between the ages of 30 and 50 — men and children can also have scleroderma. Of those with systemic, rather than localized, scleroderma, 34 percent do not survive for 10 years. Lung complications are the cause of 60 percent of scleroderma-related deaths. Because scleroderma can appear in various parts of the body, each patient experiences the disease differently. It therefore requires comprehensive, personalized therapy.
At Michigan Medicine, we take a wholly collaborative and research-based approach to treating this disease. Physicians work together across specialties, and we are developing sophisticated ways to measure outcomes so that we can evaluate the effectiveness of the care individuals are receiving — and at the same time look for patterns and clues that will help us develop more effective therapies for all.
June is Scleroderma Awareness Month, and you can help us fight this devastating disease! In our laboratories, scientists are advancing our understanding of the disease process and identifying new approaches to treatment. Our goal is to stop or reverse the features of the disease that affect patients’ quality of life and threaten their survival, work we believe will lead to preventing and curing scleroderma.
With federal funding for research continuing to decline, we depend on donations from private individuals like you. Every dollar raised during the month of June will make a profound difference.
YOU CAN BE A VICTOR Michigan Medicine’s scleroderma program is leading the way in treatment, in research, and in training the physicians and scientists who will continue to push this fight forward. With your support, we can accelerate health care toward a better future.
Help find a cure during Scleroderma Awareness Month