Erion Moore II, 36

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Like most scleroderma patients, Erion Moore had the disease long before he was diagnosed. But in his case, it took two years to confirm the condition.

You see, in 2006, Erion was a college athlete who started struggling on and off the court. Suddenly, he couldn’t palm a basketball. His shooting form was worsening. He was feeling constantly fatigued, and his endurance just wasn’t what it used to be.

All of the above led to doctors identifying rheumatoid arthritis, but they wouldn’t see scleroderma until 2008, when Erion turned 25.

At that time, Erion was trying everything to stay in shape, but his body’s only constant was change. His skin and muscle tissue kept tightening (an incredibly painful process) and slowly but surely, he lost the ability to straighten his arms, knees and fingers. He could no longer stand or sit up straight, which caused him to lose an alarming amount of weight. It was then that he became dependent on a mobility scooter to live life outside of his home.

“The things that were once considered ‘normal’ had become extremely difficult,” he said. “In some cases, impossible.”

However, in 2012, Erion was able to participate in a stem cell transplant. He was fortunate enough to see success, as the progression of his scleroderma stopped immediately.

Today, Erion’s health is steadily improving, and he’s been able to take part in activities like water aerobics and adaptive skiing. He’s even been able to move forward in his field of work.

“Though my range of motion and mobility is severely limited, I’m able to enjoy life more,” he said. “And with all the technological advances, or my own creativity, I’ve been able to do most things that I like to do. I’m actually looking forward to the next chapter in life.”