Lee Durdon

My Journey: Lee Durdon, President and Founder, Sjogren’s Society of Canada

Sjogren’s Syndrome is the second most prevalent autoimmune disorder that few have heard of. Sjogren’s takes an average of 5–9 years to be diagnosed. Sufferers may not look sick on the outside adding to the delay in diagnosis. Affects 430,000 Canadians; 3 x more than Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus; and 9 out of 10 are women, but men and children also suffer.

After a long road and finally being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome several years ago, I was fortunate to find excellent doctors and excellent care, but it still wasn’t enough. As many of us living with Sjogren’s are all too well aware of, just as we seem to get one symptom under control, another equally annoying, disruptive, painful symptom appears or an unwanted one returns again. The unpredictability of Sjogren’s is particularly difficult to live with. So goes the journey.

I felt I owed it to my husband and family but more importantly, I owed it to myself to find a way to try to live a better life or even have a life with Sjogren’s. I needed to find support from other people with the same disease that could understand [...] continue the story


Saraƒin Saraƒin is a Toronto area cartoonist, who writes and draws a webcomic series called ‘Asylum Squad’.

Her first graphic novel, ‘Asylum Squad Side Story: The Psychosis Diaries’, was birthed during a year long psychiatric incarceration.

Saraƒin’s work challenges the common misconceptions about psychotic/spiritual experiences, and breaks down stereotypes of what it means to be “schizophrenic”. She has presented her work at the University of Toronto as part of the ‘Comics and Medicine’ conference in 2012, has been mentioned in various periodicals, including The Globe and Mail and Quill and Quire, and is an active voice in the Toronto Mad Pride movement. Saraƒin rejects her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, preferring to just say that she has lived with psychosis, and she believes that her true condition is a spiritual problem. She has just released her second graphic novel, ‘Asylum Squad: Monster Hospital’, and is working on her next book.

Click here to read Saraƒin’s graphic novel on Patient Commando.

See the stories of each of the XX in Health Week healthcare transformers: