Samantha’s story: Living with linear scleroderma

Meet Samantha, a 23-year-old who is hoping to attend university. Samantha lives with linear scleroderma, an auto-immune disorder that features a line of thickened skin.

Interviewed by CSPA Board member Preet Bhogal

Please tell us about yourself and where you live. My name is Samantha Loucks. I’m 23 years old and I live in Ajax, Ontario. I love music, reading, movies, cooking and spending time with family, friends and my boyfriend. I’m currently saving up to attend a postsecondary institution in the future. Life is pretty good!

How long have you had linear scleroderma? I was diagnosed with linear scleroderma when I was 11 years old.

How does it affect your daily life? When I was first diagnosed I had very low self-esteem. I was a very shy child, but once in high school I decided to become very outgoing so that people noticed my personality instead of my face. Now, it hardly affects my life all. People might stare, but I rarely notice. The biggest challenge is in job interviews. Some employers have judged me based on my facial differences.

How does it affect your personal relationships? It’s the elephant in the room. Once my linear scleroderma is addressed and dealt with, we can move on and get to know each other. My boyfriend doesn’t notice anymore, nor do my friends. When you stop focusing on your own differences, I believe others focus [...] continue the story