Scleroderma, A Rare Disease

"I like to say you have good days, bad days, and perhaps worse days."

That's how Harold Abney describes Scleroderma - a disease he's lived with for 19 years.

"It's a day by day conquest," he says.

Scleroderma primarily affects your skin. That was Harold's first tip off something was wrong with him.

"I had severe pain in my fingers and my toes began to ache. I was very sensitive to cold and that was the beginning of Raynaud's syndrome."

Raynaud's is a common symptom of limited Scleroderma. It causes cold hands, thick skin, cuts and scrapes don't heal well. Things like typing become a chore.

At first, the diagnosis scared Harold, but after talking to Dr. Roger Porter he knows limited Scleroderma is nothing to fear.

"People with limited Scleroderma have very low risk of organ problem," he said.

Right now there is no cure for any type of Scleroderma and severe forms of it can be deadly.

"It can be very dangerous. It can cause damage to you lungs, your heart, your esophagus, and kidney failure," he said.

Some symptoms can be very painful to live with.

Harold admits it isn't always easy, but he won't let it get him down.

"My faith, my family and my friends have kept me involved to keep the disease from overtaking me," he said.