I was covered with psoriasis over 80% of my body most of my adult life and lived with the pain of psoriatic arthritis for 25 years because I couldn’t get the proper diagnosis. I was alone and never knew what love was. When I decided to empower myself I saw a difference and I started making a difference.

I started going to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC every year by myself, attending conferences and seminars. I attend Town Hall Meetings and have been invited to more events than I can remember.

I have grown, empowering myself through other people and their knowledge. I not only want to empower women and men but young girls and boys who feel lost; people of color who hide their disease every day, and adolescents. I want people to know it doesn’t matter where you come from; it’s where you end up that matters. I want to concentrate on beyond psoriasis because of the mental health, diabetes, heart disease and so many other things that are associated with this disease.

Making a Difference: How We Work to Empower Each Other

My father is 85 and he tells me everyday how proud he is of me and don’t let anyone stop me from dreaming. I was put on full disability at the age of 40, but said, “No way.” I don’t want my life to end with this disease. I knew that my purpose was bigger than my disease. I just need others to see my vision with me.

My Patient Advocacy Blog: Why I Started Power Beyond Psoriasis

I started this blog to reflect on everything I want my community to know and remember about me and what I am about. Often times, people are visiting any website because they are seeking out something.

  • I want them to come here and get assurance that they are finding what they are looking for quickly and with ease.
  • I want them to know that they are not alone.
  • My goal is to empower people from all walks of life.

What You Can Learn From Working With Me

I have had psoriasis for 56 years and psoriatic arthritis for 35 years. I developed fibromyalgia two years ago. I feel I have a ton of information to share; so that is what my journey will be. To share and empower others.

Psoriasis is a chronic, immune disease that is itchy, scaly, and most times painful. This disease can cause us to have numerous comorbidities, including diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, particularly in patients with moderate-to-severe symptoms. I have them, all plus some others.

I want to provide an environment where people can answer each other’s questions.  I want to provide support, encouragement, and a sense of community to psoriasis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, psoriatic and arthritis patients. The funny thing about my story is that I never associated any disease that I had with my psoriasis. I was told I had endometriosis when I was 15 or 16. Never knew what is was or why it affected me at all.

What Is My Role as a Patient Advocate?

I want to be the voice of the medical community, to the government, to officials making decisions about healthcare and access to treatment. I also want to be an authority on the disease and to create awareness that our diseases are serious. If we don’t speak for those suffering with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, who will?

After all these years there is still a lack of public awareness and misconceptions. I want to help lessen discrimination and stigmatization. We still have a lack of medical profession knowledge and recognition of psoriasis along with a lack of access to treatments. Do we really know how many people suffer with psoriasis in our country? We really don’t. I talk to minorities everyday who are too ashamed to go see a doctor and won’t. We need to ensure that psoriasis is recognized as a serious medical condition in the wider healthcare arena.

We need to increase public awareness that this disease can greatly affect a person’s quality of life. My goal is to improve the support and treatment given to patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to help them manage their disease. We need to work together to help provide cost‐effective healthcare to reduce the economic impact of psoriasis on our society. There must be more research towards a cure. Let’s empower one another!!