I’ve had psoriasis for over 50 years and have plenty to show and tell. When I was in grade school, there were a lot of times I felt different and special at the same time. I say this because my psoriasis covered over 80% of my body. I was seven years old.

I had special nurses that would pick me up at school and transport me back and forth to my psoriasis treatment. This was in the 60’s and there wasn’t much information on how to treat this disease. I was out of school a lot due to my disease, even being hospitalized for a while.

Magical Moment in the Childhood of a Patient Advocate for Psoriasis

I would like to share a bright moment in my elementary school days. Every year we had a special day called, “May Day”, where we did fun things for the whole day. I was in the 2nd grade and my teacher asked everybody to bring in something for show and tell. I didn’t have that luxury of having anything to bring in; so I had to improvise.

I ended up bringing my sister who was five at the time. I hid her under the table when I got to school and of course, my teacher ended up seeing her. My teacher scolded me and said that I was not to bring a person for show and tell.

When I think of this situation, it reminds me of all the times I’ve had psoriasis and how it always showed up. I like telling this story because this has been the story of my life for years. I recall wearing masks on this day because there would be nothing to show to the world, so therefore I had nothing to tell.

Allow me elaborate:

  • I always wanted to put on a mask to hide who I was on the outside.
  • It has not been an easy journey when people question you about what you have; especially as a child.
  • You just don’t want to say anything.

As the years have gone by; show and tell is no longer an elementary classroom activity for me. It has become something I take much pride in–to show and tell. I want people to know how long I’ve had this disease, and how it has affected me, how it’s something that has no cure and telling people that this is a disease that people suffer with from children to adults.

There is no discrimination or respect of persons. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor. I have no problem showing the effects of my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and my story. I want to show you what my disease looks like on the outside and the inside.

My Journey Into Becoming a Patient Advocate for Psoriasis

It brings so much comfort to my heart that I am able to show and tell and not hide anymore. I don’t have to be scolded because I can tell it as a patient advocate for psoriasis. As a patient advocate, I’ve been able to create programs to help spread awareness for this disease. For example, you can take part in an immersive experience that I’ve put together available on Health Central.

My heart goes out to people who are afraid to show and tell. I want you to know that you are not alone in this journey. It took me years to get to where I am today. I know that people can be cruel and just don’t understand what you are going though.

My life of show and tell allows me the expression to tell the world. I want to shout to the masses about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. My journey will never stop until we find a cure. As an advocate, I must show up and tell my story. If I don’t tell my story, who will?