Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) was honored by the Scleroderma Foundation today when the group presented him with the Messenger of Hope Award. Congressman Terry has shown his support for the Foundation by sponsoring legislation that will raise public awareness of the disease.
"It is important for Congress to raise awareness of this debilitating and life-threatening illness. I only became aware of scleroderma when a close friend's wife was diagnosed with it," Terry said. "At this time, while there is no specific cure for scleroderma, I look forward to innovative research that will hasten the development of new treatment options for patients sufferingfrom this chronic disease.
"I want to thank the Scleroderma Foundation for honoring me with the Messenger of Hope Award," Terry concluded.
Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles and internal organs. It is a type of autoimmune disorder, which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. The cause of scleroderma is unknown. People with this condition have a buildup of a substance called collagen in the skin and other organs. This buildup leads to the symptoms of the disease. The disease usually affects people 30 to 50 years old. Women are diagnosed with scleroderma more often than men.