Living with Scleroderma

Anne Terrell’s Story

By May 9, 2021July 12th, 2021No Comments
Anne Terrell and family

Anne Terrell is a mother of two who loves, “music, nature, dogs, and spending time with friends and family.” She also lives with scleroderma. Anne Terrell received her diagnosis in 1999 at age 30, after experiencing Raynaud’s symptoms and skin hardening. She remembers how “shocking and distressing” this news was. “It would be with me for the rest of my life,” she says.

“In the earlier years of the disease’s progression, scleroderma did not majorly alter my life,” she says, “except for my hands…and decreased physical activity. I worked and I have a wonderful family, including two children and a loving husband.” However, she wasn’t the only person in her family to be affected by scleroderma. Her mother was also diagnosed, eight years after Anne Terrell. “It was heartbreaking to watch it happen,” she says. “First, she had Raynaud’s. Then her fingers started getting thick, and I knew in my gut that this disease had gotten her as well.” Anne Terrell’s mother passed away in January of 2015 from complications from scleroderma.

As her scleroderma progressed, “daily routines became harder to manage.” Her husband Eric speaks to how, despite these difficulties, “she doesn’t let scleroderma totally control her life.” Anne Terrell is grateful that Eric, who she describes as her rock and a source of laughter, is alongside her through it all. They love to entertain and have people over. They also love traveling and went with their children to Italy in a pre-pandemic family adventure. 

Anne Terrell says, “I believe research is the key to developing treatments for the many afflictions caused by this disease, and for allowing patients to more fully live their lives.“ For her, fully living means being with her loved ones. “I try to be grateful for every day that I have with my family.”