The brave five-year-old sold cakes and dressed in blue when his school, Devonshire Road Primary School, held a Be Bright and Be Blue Day to raise money and awareness of the rare autoimmune condition scleroderma.

The brave five-year-old sold cakes and dressed in blue when his school, Devonshire Road Primary School, held a Be Bright and Be Blue Day to raise money and awareness of the rare autoimmune condition scleroderma.

Congratulations to Dr. Sergio Jimenez for being named the Scleroderma Foundation’s 2013 Doctor of the Year in recognition of his nearly four decades of treatment of patients with the chronic autoimmune disease: http://sm.tjuh.org/0Z6

Congratulations to Dr. Sergio Jimenez for being named the Scleroderma Foundation’s 2013 Doctor of the Year in recognition of his nearly four decades of treatment of patients with the chronic autoimmune disease: http://sm.tjuh.org/0Z6

"Autoimmune diseases all have something in common by the way the attack happens. The cells mutate and start attacking their own tissue," Wingfield said.

"Autoimmune diseases all have something in common by the way the attack happens. The cells mutate and start attacking their own tissue," Wingfield said.

Kerry was diagnosed with scleroderma after suffering renal failure and being taken in to hospital at the age of 36. The illness affects the body’s connective tissues and is an autoimmune condition, which means the body is attacked by its own immune system.

Kerry was diagnosed with scleroderma after suffering renal failure and being taken in to hospital at the age of 36. The illness affects the body’s connective tissues and is an autoimmune condition, which means the body is attacked by its own immune system.

Little-publicized because fewer than 500,000 people in the U.S. have it -- and most are women -- scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disease that can tighten and harden the skin, blood vessels, internal organs and digestive tract. The symptoms range from mild to severe.

Little-publicized because fewer than 500,000 people in the U.S. have it -- and most are women -- scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disease that can tighten and harden the skin, blood vessels, internal organs and digestive tract. The symptoms range from mild to severe.

Hundreds came out to William Land Park on Sunday, Sept. 9 for a celebratory competitive 5K run and 2-mile walk and fun run in honor or memory of loved ones affected by scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder.

Hundreds came out to William Land Park on Sunday, Sept. 9 for a celebratory competitive 5K run and 2-mile walk and fun run in honor or memory of loved ones affected by scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder.

Preventing Cervical and Other Cancers in Women | BlackWomensHealth.com is the premier online destination for health and wellness resources for and about African-American women and their families.

Preventing Cervical and Other Cancers in Women | BlackWomensHealth.com is the premier online destination for health and wellness resources for and about African-American women and their families.

Davis said scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a chronic, often progressive autoimmune disease. Scleroderma literally means “hard skin,” which causes a thickening, or tightening of the skin.

Davis said scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a chronic, often progressive autoimmune disease. Scleroderma literally means “hard skin,” which causes a thickening, or tightening of the skin.

Otsiningo walk raises money for scleroderma: Local community members came together on Sunday to raise money for research into the autoimmune disease scleroderma. Staff video by Meghin Delaney

Otsiningo walk raises money for scleroderma: Local community members came together on Sunday to raise money for research into the autoimmune disease scleroderma. Staff video by Meghin Delaney

Higle, a 64-year-old piano teacher, is thankful she can play at all since being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease scleroderma in 1999.

Scleroderma Walk strides for greater awareness

Higle, a 64-year-old piano teacher, is thankful she can play at all since being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease scleroderma in 1999.

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