BENEFITING: SCLERODERMA RESEARCH FOUNDATION
EVENT DATE: Jun 11, 2014
Inspirational. Optimistic. Fighter. On June 11, 1931, Francis Eloise Coleman made her entrance into the world. Spending most of her life in Idaho, Eloise worked as Postmaster for the US Postal Service in the small town of Deary. She lived there for many years with her late husband, Frank Hocking, and her two sons, Mark and Dale. Her love of music was expressed during her time traveling the globe as a Sweet Adeline's International barbershop singer. She has been surrounded with love from her family and friends but, as many of us know, she has battled a debilitating disease for 31 years.
Scleroderma, Greek for "hard skin" was first diagnosed in Naples in 1754. It is a complex disease with varied symptoms and complications. It is a chronic, degenerative disorder that leads to fibrosis, widespread vascular deterioration and tissue loss. Scleroderma can be disfiguring, debilitating and painful. In the most serious cases, the disease causes severe damage to the body’s digestive, respiratory, circulatory and immune systems and can be fatal. After several misdiagnoses, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota correctly identified the disease in Eloise in 1983 and told her that she wouldn't have long to live. But through her positive attitude and annual visits to the health mines in Montana, she has beaten the odds.
As many as 300,000 Americans suffer from the various types of scleroderma. That is nearly as many as from multiple sclerosis and more than three times as many as muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis combined. Eighty percent of those afflicted are women, though scleroderma also strikes men and children across all races and ethnic boundaries.
We kindly ask all that know Eloise, as well as those that want to give a donation in honor of a fighter they have in their own lives -- please give. Any amount is appreciated, and all donations are tax deductible and will go directly to the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Eloise is unaware of this campaign, but will find out this summer as part of a surprise birthday announcement.
I'd also like to share a poem created in honor of Eloise, co-written by her brother and niece:
My sister Eloise is an angel be
She has always been such a treasure to me
Down from heaven she came
Never casting dispersions or blame
Pure of heart and soul
Overcoming any obstacle or toll
When God made her, He realized perfection
From that time she has felt protection
She has never asked for any accommodations
That has earned her generous oblations
For any who know her it is plain to see
She is truly an angel be
-George Coleman and Michelle McIntyre