Recently we interviewed Britney Helm, one of our new support group leaders! She’s excited to be starting a group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and invites you to get involved. If you are interested in joining this support group or learning more, contact Britney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SF: Why did you decide to start a support group?
BH: When I was diagnosed with Scleroderma, I researched online and found a lot of information. I had no one to help me deal with the emotional and physical part of the disease. After being a member of another Scleroderma group, I realized that there is a need in the local area to help one another.
SF: When and where will your group meet?
BH: We meet every 3rd Saturday of the Month from 10am-12pm.
Location: Froedert Hospital – 8700 W Watertown Plank Rd, Wauwatosa, WI 53226
–Community Conference Room 2 located in the Wisconsin Athletic Club building. Enter building on the 87th Street side look for Community Conference Room entrance.
SF: What are you looking forward to the most in being involved with this group?
BH: The most important part of this group to me is to help others. This disease is scary and is unknown throughout the community. Nothing is better than to have your fellow Scleroderma members coming together supporting each other.
SF: How do you intend to help or inspire others?
BH: I hope to encourage others that this disease can define a part of who you are, but it can’t take your joy.
SF: Can you tell us a few interesting facts about yourself?
I love to laugh.
I have hunted alligators in the Panamanian jungle
I love snow, but hate being cold. I have a lot of gadgets, and a kit that helps keep me warm.
I drive a motorcycle as much as I can, like cars, and getting dirty with tools.
I love to travel.
SF: Do you have any words of advice for other patients and caregivers?
For patients: Be your own advocate. Never just take a doctor’s word. Do your own research and journal your symptoms.
For caregivers: This is tricky because I have seen very supportive people run for the hills. Caregivers, you will never understand what is going on with Scleroderma patients because the Scleroderma patient doesn’t even know half of the time. Be patient and understanding. We are always cold; we are tired but we still want to have fun. To have fun we have to charge our battery to have a little bit of excitement. Be patient with us, we are delicate.
Britney Helm with her 2015 Germantown, WI Walk Team