Janelle’s story

Scleroderma. Some people may know it as “just a skin disease”. But for those living everyday with the condition, which causes hardening of the skin and failure of internal organs, it is so much more. Janelle has been one of our service users for four years, and has scleroderma.

Her condition means she has a busy calendar including appointments with specialists, running support groups for others living with the disease, and has required multiple surgeries. Janelle has type-2 diabetes, interstitial lung disease, heart problems,
asthma, joint replacements and takes immunosuppressants as part of her treatment.

“If you look at me you’ll think I’m fine,” Janelle states. “People don’t understand the limitations you have inside your own body, or the challenges you face everyday. I can go from perfect to terrible in an instant.”

Due to her condition, which leads to difficulty breathing and walking, Janelle is a regular user of our Buggy Service and is considering the Companion Service for both herself and her 80 year old mother. “Using the Buggy Service builds my confidence and reduces barriers to attending social and sporting events in the city, like the Australian Open, as well as medical appointments.”

“I have no energy, and I can’t walk from A to B,” Janelle admits. “I have difficulty with stairs, and I worry about crowds and people pushing me. I also struggle carrying things. Using the Travellers Aid buggy takes all the pressure off thinking how to get somewhere and worrying about my energy.”

Janelle believes Travellers Aid are “here just to support me, and help others who need support. More people need to know about Travellers Aid”.