Hi, I'm Serena Justis. You can call me by my nickname, Barefut. I have been an ISN Blogger in Sclero Forums since October 2007. I am honored to add Support Specialist to my responsibilities here at ISN, home of the most beautiful, caring, supportive, compassionate group of people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. If I can give even half of the support and comfort that I have received here then I will be doing great.
I am a forty-two-year-old single mom of two precious boys, ages five and ten (and a Golden Retriever age four). I have a BA in Sociology but I spent my working career in the hotel industry. I have been a stay at home mom for the past ten years but have recently gone back to work full time as a bank teller.
My first autoimmune symptoms began back in 1998 when my hair started falling out. I went to a dermatologist and he said since I was nursing my six month old, it was probably just a lack of vitamin K. Many more symptoms later and a positive ANA landed me with a "probable lupus " diagnosis. Then came Raynaud's in early 2005 and by October the same year, puffy hands and shortness of breath.
I was finally referred to a rheumatologist and in January 2006 I was diagnosed with diffuse systemic scleroderma, with skin, gastrointestinal, and lung involvement. I am being treated with CellCept® and have remained stable since February 2006.
I am very lucky to be living a relatively normal life, still able to do most everything I need and want to do (with a little help from my friends, family and neighbors).
You can read my blog by logging in to Sclero Forums, then selecting the Blog link in the upper right hand corner of each page. As a blogger, if I can make you smile then I have done my job. If I can make you laugh then I have done my job well.
As a Support Specialist I will steer members to reliable, up to date information, offer my ear to bend, my shoulder to cry on and my best advice based on my own education and experiences with life and scleroderma.
Due to a heavy schedule, I retired as ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist in October 2008. This allows me to focus more of my volunteer energies on my ISN Barefut Impressions Blog.
Stay healthy, happy, safe and warm!
Health Hero: Kelly Pleas. Kelly faced the difficult diagnosis of diffuse systemic scleroderma-while going through a divorce and raising two young boys. There were decisions she had to make, and one critical step guided her in the right direction. Quality Health. May, 2011. (Also see Serena Justis)
Braden Pleas presented a 7th grade Culture Fair project on scleroderma yesterday at Chimacum Middle School in Chimacum, Washington. His board was then chosen to be one of ten to be displayed at the Jefferson County Library for two weeks! The left side of the board is titled, "What is Scleroderma?" with photos from ISN of Raynaud's and joint contractures. Then, "Five New Things I Learned." The middle is "Celebrities Working for a Cure" and the lower left section is on ISN and his interview with ISN Founder and President, Shelley Ensz, along with a pocket of ISN brochures. The center section is, "A Day in the Life of My Mom", where he graphed his mother's pain scale throughout a full day. The right side of the board is titled "Components of Culture". The ISN thanks Braden for educating the public and raising awareness of scleroderma! (Also see Scleroderma School Reports) Posted 1-25-11.
Serena Justis: ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist. As a Support Specialist I will steer members to reliable, up to date information, offer my ear to bend, my shoulder to cry on and my best advice based on my own education and experiences with life and scleroderma. Posted 03-31-08.
Serena Justis: ISN Blogger. I am honored to be offered the opportunity to be a blogger here at ISN, home of the most beautiful, caring, supportive, compassionate group of people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I only hope my blogging can hold a candle to Barbs Lowe. If I can make you smile then I have done my job. If I can make you laugh then I have done my job well. Posted 10-30-07.
SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. We are a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team. Donations may also be mailed to: