Scleroderma can progress rapidly, leaving people disfigured, disabled, and can be life threatening, due to organ damage. I have the most aggressive form. My first symptoms were swelling in my hands in 1999, and by the end of 2003, I was slowly dying. I couldn't dress, feed, or take care of myself or my 1 1/2 yr. old daughter.
In 2004, I had a stem cell transplant (using my own stem cells), which saved my life. I can now function independently and my quality of life has greatly improved.
I still struggle with joint stiffness, limited hand movement, and some organ damage. However, I'm off kidney dialysis, I can walk, drive a car, and take care of my daughter Emma.
The same encouraging words and heartfelt thoughts that have gotten me through challenging times are now inside each handmade greeting card. My dream is to inspire others, as others have inspired me. So go ahead, and "Dream On."
Emily not only wants to impact people but also give back to the Scleroderma Foundation to help and support the disease that changed her life. A percentage of each sale of the cards will go to the foundation, with the hope of making cures available to those who need them.
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