When did psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) enter your life?
I was diagnosed with psoriasis in 1996 and psoriatic arthritis in 2008. I was at a Christmas party when I felt the first plaque on my scalp, so I actually have a picture of the day I found my psoriasis.
What is the impact of psoriatic disease on your life?
I owned my own gift basket business that I closed down shortly before my PsA diagnosis, because my hands were too stiff and sore to do it anymore. I’m now permanently disabled. I have had replacements of the joints at the base of both thumbs as well as carpal tunnel surgeries. I also have had a lot of spinal procedures. I’ve lost my hair a bunch of times too. On the other hand, I have found a passion for advocacy, mentoring, and fundraising, and I have an amazing family of people with psoriatic disease!
What is something you are excited about doing?
I absolutely loved the NPF Community Conference in April. It was great to get to see my psoriatic disease family! I can’t wait to sit on my new patio and enjoy some warm weather. I was very excited for our 2022 NPF Capitol Hill Day (May 10 and 11), and I am really hoping to be able to get back to fundraising again soon. I have just really missed seeing people in person!
What do you want people impacted by psoriatic disease to know?
You are NOT alone. Even if you think nobody else understands what you’re going through, there are very literally millions of us who get it. We get you. We feel you. Psoriatic disease is what you have – it’s not who you are. It’s not an easy road, but it’s also not the end of everything. You might even be like me and find advocacy to be a passion you never expected.