Scleroderma awarenessScleroderma at the Royal Free
Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune disease treated at the Royal Free London.
Scleroderma at the Royal Free
Scleroderma, also called systemic sclerosis, is a severe and potentially life-threatening rheumatic disease that affects 1 in 10,000 people. There is no cure but treatments of complications in the lung and kidney are improving and progress is being made in understanding the disease. It causes scarring and damage to the blood vessels and internal organs such as the lung, heart and kidney. It also leads the hardening or thickening of skin, hence the name scleroderma, which means hard skin.
Despite the serious impact of scleroderma on vital organs and quality of life, it receives much less attention than other more common medical problems and this has limited progress in understanding and treating the disease. The Royal Free Hospital has the largest centre specialising in scleroderma in the UK, led by Professor Chris Denton. As well as treating patients, the unit does research to understand the root cause of the disease and test new potential therapies.
Donations to support the clinical and research activity of the unit help fund research projects that will ultimately help provide better and safer treatments for patients.
Nicola Whitehill has been living with scleroderma for many years and is the patient’s voice for those with the condition as well as a vociferous participant in clinical trials led by those carrying out research.
Support research and wear your #SclerodermaFreeWorld T-shirt to support her and others living with scleroderma.