The National Psoriasis Foundation was created in 1967 by volunteers. For more than 50 years, patients, families, friends, scientists and health care providers have pitched in to help our cause. Volunteering takes many forms, from following us on Facebook to running with Team NPF to sharing your story with the people who represent you at the state and federal levels.
In this series, you’ll meet a crew who, in their own quiet, steady way, have been working hard to help everyone with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Today: Lena Oslund.
Lena Oslund of Lansing, Michigan, has spent most of her life dealing with psoriasis. She was diagnosed at age 6. Psoriasis made her self-conscious. It didn’t help that some kids bullied her.
At a young age, she responded to unkind comments in a mature way. “I handled it by walking away,” she says.
Today, Oslund is heading into her junior year of high school, where she takes AP classes and swims the 500 meters. She’s a lot more confident; she’s older and her psoriasis is “under control” thanks to a combination of a biologic and a systemic.
Her life no longer revolves around psoriasis, she says. And you can tell from her wide-ranging interests, including swimming, bicycling, drawing, karate, photography and reading.
“I want [people] to know what psoriasis is and that they can’t catch it and there are good treatments to try,” she wrote on her application.
As a youth ambassador, Oslund spoke at the 2017 Team NPF Walk in Chicago and led Team Lena on the walk. She also attended the 2017 NPF National Volunteer Conference in Chicago.
Psoriasis has had another notable influence on Oslund: Like other patients before her, she wants to go into a medical field. Maybe someday, Lena Oslund will be the person explaining to her patient that there are good treatments to try.
Help for anyone under 18
Our Spot is a site for kids, teens and their families living with psoriatic disease. Our Spots offers stories from young people living – and thriving – with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, tips on communicating about your disease with everyone in your life, educational webcasts, a Welcome Kit and school resources. If you're under 18 and you're living with psoriatic disease, this is your spot.
More from our series of community profiles:
- A lawyer advocates for a new client: herself
- Finding a community, gaining a voice
- Searching for answers through science
- Triathlon dad
- Education opens doors
Photo: Britney Weber
Driving discovery, creating community
For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.