POST 50
02/29/2012 04:03 pm ET Updated Feb 29, 2012

Rare Disease Day: 1 In 10 People Are Afflicted

Ten years ago, at the age of 44, Liz Gorka was stunned when she was diagnosed with a disease she had never heard of before. Systemic sclerodema is a progressive disorder that causes the hardening of connective tissues and can seriously damage vital organs. As the Mayo Clinic site puts it, "For unknown reasons, the immune system turns against the body . . . Scleroderma has no known cure."

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