Supporting those affected by Scleroderma

St. Luke's Hospital Healthy Woman Award honorees

Pictured (left to right)
Becky Allmeroth, Chris Wilson, Julie Harbor, Kelly Ellison (Founder, The Relief Foundation)

The St. Luke's Healthy Woman Award strives to recognize and celebrate women who not only take steps to improve their own health, but also inspire better health in our community. 
Project Scleroderma
Mission: Raise the global level of awareness and encourage support for research. 

GROUND-BREAKING RESULTS - NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY FEINBERG SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Immunotherapy delivers a “ceasefire” with the stem cell transplant approach to suppress the immune system and eliminate the immune cells causing the progression of the disease. MORE
the latest 
research - legislative
Scleroderma (skleer-oh-DUR-muh) comes from two Greek words: “sclero” meaning hard, and “derma” meaning skin.  Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disorder which means the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system.  In the simplest of terms, Scleroderma is an overproduction of collagen that can result in thickening or tightening of skin and scarring of internal organs.  
5.30.2012 - A team of researchers have identified a peptide that can block fibrosis of the skin and lungs, according to a report published today. “Lung fibrosis currently is the number one cause of death in patients with scleroderma,” said the report’s senior author Carol A. Feghali-Bostwick, Ph.D.
Scleroderma Research Foundation -

Hope-Promise-Support Foundation for Scleroderma

Northwestern University DIAD -
Dear Kelly,

A recent photo of my first Grandchild and he is smiling!  That is because he is so happy that I am hear with him today.  My doctor said there was a very real chance I may not have survived the most recent flare-up of the diffuse scleroderma.  I have no insurance and no resources to obtain medications I needed to take (plus 6 trips to the hospital, two ambulance rides, medications and doctor visits.  THEN I FOUND YOU and THE RELIEF FOUNDATION.  Your financial help SAVED MY LIFE!  Because you were able to send funds to my pharmacy  I was able to quickly get the best medication available for me and it helped me survive to be here for my  Grandson Wyatt.  Angels do exist, but sometimes even angels need some help to do their work when they are helping others. Maybe this note will be useful in letting others know of your good work and result in some donations to the foundation. I hope The Relief Foundation has a very successful fund raising year and I want to express my gratitude for the chance they gave me to keep fighting this disease.   

Sincerely, Leona Nemac  (& Wyatt) 

My Family sends Prayers, Gratitude  and Best wishes to you and all those involved with the Foundation...
Movie Screening
Frontenac Plaza Cinema

Christy McCaffrey, Creator, Project Scleroderma: Beneath the Surface; Kelly J. Ellison, Founder, The Relief Foundation; Victoria Babu, Media Personality and Event MC (l to r)
What is Scleroderma
Scleroderma (skleer-oh-DUR-muh) which comes from the Greek words - “sclero” hard, and “derma” skin is an autoimmune disorder. In the simplest of terms, Scleroderma is an overproduction of collagen that can result in thickening or tightening of skin, which is the most visible characteristic of the disease. There are several subtypes of the illness that can damage the lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, as well as, result in loss of digits and mobility. Scleroderma is chronic, complex and debilitating and it is estimated that about 300,000 Americans suffer from this debilitating disease.  Although it’s more common in women between the ages of 25 and 55, the disease also occurs in men and children.  There is no known cause or cure, but current research is yielding more effective treatments.

Common symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the hands and feet
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Hardening/thickening of the skin
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Who Makes the Diagnosis of Scleroderma:
  • Depending on the particular symptoms, a diagnosis may be made by:
  • A general internist.
  • A dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the skin, hair, and nails).
  • An orthopedist (a doctor who treats bone and joint disorders).
  • A pulmonologist (a lung specialist).
  • A rheumatologist (a doctor specializing in treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and rheumatic diseases).