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Walk for Scleroderma cure coming in June

From Carole Berg

The Duluth Scleroderma Support Group of the Scleroderma Foundation will hold its 12th annual Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma Walk on Saturday, June 14, at the Two Harbors Community Club, 417 South Ave. Registration is at 9:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 10:30 a.m. The registration fee is $25. The event will take place rain or shine.

This is a family event, which features a 1.5 mile walk. Food and refreshments will be available and entertainment will be provided by KOOL-FM 101.7, featuring Chris Allen. Walkers are eligible for door prizes donated by local merchants.

The walk is in memory of Paul Bergman and Jeanette Durkee. Both were diagnosed in 1998. Jeanette passed away in February 2007, and Paul died in July 2013. Money raised from this event will help us serve patients and work to raise local awareness of this cruel, but little-known disease.

Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, auto-immune disease in which the immune system attacks its own body. The disease, which literally means “hard skin,” can cause thickening and tightening of the skin. In some cases, it causes serious damage to internal organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. These organs may slowly harden until they become ineffective.

Some medicines and treatments can help with certain symptoms, but there is still no cure for scleroderma. The disease affects three to four times more women as men.

Please join the community in honoring those who have lost their battle with this disease and support patients now living with the condition. Those interested in walking for this cause may contact Jan Bergman at (218) 830-1389 or Carole Berg, Duluth support group leader at (218) 721-3940, or Walkers may also register online by visiting