Scleroderma patients walk for a cure

More than 300,000 people are suffering from an autoimmune disease that sometimes takes years to diagnose.
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WINDHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- More than 300,000 people are suffering from an autoimmune disease that sometimes takes years to diagnose.

It's called scleroderma and literally means "hard skin". But it does much more than affect your skin; it can attack any organ, tissue, and the entire vascular system.

Scleroderma affects women four times more than men. Symptoms vary among individuals and can range from mild to life-threatening. Some symptoms include: pulmonary hypertension, fatigue, constant pain, and the deterioration of your tissue. No part of the body is left unscathed.

Lori Chason, a support group leader for the Scleroderma Foundation New England chapter is organizing a walk to raise money that will help fund research for a cure. "We need to get the word out there, we need to get money for research," Chason says. "Because you can't sit home and say, 'oh, I hope they find a cure soon.' You got to do something."

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The walk is taking place Saturday, May 16th at Riverbank Park in Westbrook. Registration starts at 10 a.m. and the walk begins at Noon. Proceeds will go to the Scleroderma Foundation New England chapter and will be used for research to find a cure.