Rowena Lou A. Sia-Ortiz, 48

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Rowena has been a scleroderma warrior for 14 years. But first and foremost, she’s a mom.

“Despite being a single mother with scleroderma, I was able to send my three children to earn their college degrees,” she said. “That’s the achievement I’m most proud of.”

Like most accomplishments though, it didn’t come easy. Living with scleroderma changed Rowena’s life – personally and professionally. While she was once a dental assistant, it was a job that required too much movement. So, she eventually opted to do office work, as it offered an opportunity for less exertion.

However, no matter where she worked, Rowena worked hard to give her kids the best life she could. And as a parent, that’s the most important job of all.