President’s Report August 2016

Bring on Spring, we all need that boost of sunshine, and we have had a good taste of it over the last few days.

I hope that you have all mostly come through the winter spell here in New Zealand quiet well. We have been reasonably fortunate throughout New Zealand as it has mostly been mild, with just with one or two heavy snow storms here and there around the country.

We had a sad start to July with the loss of Valerie Smith as you will read about later in this newsletter, she will be missed by our group here in Wellington. Valerie was one of our founding members. She had lead a very active 86 years and was a great source of encouragement for us all.

I am pleased to say that we now have the New Zealand Edition of Understanding and Managing Scleroderma booklet at the printers and we should all get copies in late September.

The format is very similar to the previous booklet. The new booklet has a practical help section for New Zealanders nationwide. We are looking at a bright warm and happy front cover, so we are currently looking forward to sighting the graphics before the final print.

I would like to sincerely thank you all for your support with the fundraising required to get these booklets printed. It has been a huge effort from all of you and your families.

A special mention to Linda Bell and Maureen Kirby for their fundraising ideas and work towards this: Maureen with the sale of the calenders and Linda with the movie-night fundraiser and quilt raffle.

Thank you all so very much. I know that we are all going to benefit from the booklet by distributing it to our GPs, family members and anyone else who you may think will benefit.

I will be sending out quantities to all the rheumatology clinics around the country and to any of you who would like a copy. I will get you all to notify me of how many you will need, with postal addresses.

John and Barbara will also make the booklet available on the website, so that you can download it. We have been given free envelopes from New Zealand Post to send you all a physical copy. We will also send out a hospital check list with the booklets.

Now that the booklet is organised, there is time for the committee to think of other ways in which we can help our wider scleroderma community. This also means that I am very happy to hear from any of you out there, of any ideas or concerns you may have and I will be very happy to pass them onto our committee to formulate a way through. You can email at

Once again, thank you all for your support.

Keep well and enjoy the up and coming spring.