The word “scleroderma” comes from two Greek words: “sclero” meaning hard, and “derma” meaning skin
There are two main types of Scleroderma, localized and systemic.
Localized Scleroderma only affects the skin. An excessive amount of collagen builds up in the body and hardens the outer layer of skin.
But In extreme cases, this autoimmune disease can also affect the internal organs, this is called Systemic Scleroderma (also known as systemic sclerosis)
I have had scleroderma (localised but with symptoms of both) for over 13 years and it has totally turned my life upside down! I can't do any of the things I used to love, like rollerblading, going out with friends and playing in a brass band. Now, I get exhausted just by taking a shower (I often need a nap afterwards!!)
If I do go out, I'm not able to do anything the next day because of the pain and feeling so rough! (imagine you've got a hangover, the flu, food poisoning and have been run over by a truck that reversed back over you just to make sure he did a good job !!!)
Because of the scleroderma, I have a number of other ... 'issues' as well including rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and cataracts (to name a few) and (at the latest count) I'm taking 220 pills a week !!
I go down to the Royal Free Hospital in London every year (sometimes twice depending on my condition) and see a wonderful team led by Professor Chris Denton and they do their best to help me and others with this debilitating condition live as well as we possibly can
There is currently no cure to this dreadful disease, which is why I am trying to raise money for the Royal Free Charity by doing this sponsored hair cut, so they can research the disease and hopefully find a cure!!!
100% of the money raised is used for research, (not paying wages or expenses or whatever else some charities use it for)