Scleroderma group seeks more help from Sask. government

A group representing sufferers of scleroderma is hoping to get more support from the Saskatchewan government.

Few doctors have expertise treating the autoimmune disorder

The left arm of a scleroderma sufferer, showing skin lesions, is shown here. (Wikipedia)

A group representing sufferers of scleroderma is hoping to get more support from the Saskatchewan government.

Scleroderma is chronic hardening and contraction of the skin and connective tissue, either locally or throughout the body.

It's a rare, sometimes fatal autoimmune disorder and there are few specialists in the province with expertise dealing with it.

"Sometimes people have to travel quite a distance to find the care that they need," said Louise Goulet, the president of the Scleroderma Association of Saskatchewan. 

Now the association is pressuring the government for better care.

It would like to see more training and more awareness raised about the disease in the medical community. It would also like to see the province cover costs for some promising new drugs.

Goulet was diagnosed with scleroderma 16 years ago.

She said for her, it started with a hardening up skin, but today she has scarring in her lungs as well.

"It affects every part of your body," she said. "It has affected my life in many ways."