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Vasculitis sufferers help through stories

Patients with vasculitis now have a place to turn when diagnosed with this rare, little-known disease.

The Mid-Island Vasculitis Support Group invites anyone diagnosed with the disease, their family members and supporters to join.

Vasculitis includes more than a dozen diseases involving inflammation of a person’s veins, arteries or both. Symptoms can range from occasional unsightly, often painful skin rashes through life-threatening attacks on internal organs.

Because it is so rare, few research dollars are spent on vasculitis, and a lack of knowledge creates uncertainty for patients.

More than a dozen mid-Island vasculitis patients now share experiences and knowledge on drug side effects and new treatments.

“Our little group helps people with vasculitis learn more and share what they know,” said Germaine Wilson, group organizer.

The next meeting is April 9, 2 p.m. For location and other information, please e-mail