Brittany Rudy, 27

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I was first diagnosed with scleroderma in May of 2012, by a rheumatologist who gave me six months to live and said, “And that’s pushing it.” He sent me to UCLA where I met my specialist who saved my life!

My biggest daily challenge in dealing with scleroderma is my lungs not functioning correctly. I have a constant cough and I’m not able to do most things without focusing on my breathing first or preparing my lungs for what I’m going to do.

In the years that I’ve had scleroderma, I’m most proud of graduating college in 2016 with my B.S. in Child and Adolescent Development. I’m proud that I wake up each day and still have a purpose and want to show that purpose. I haven’t let scleroderma get me down!