|Ticket||Quantity Left||Price Each|
|White bracelet||13 left||$10.00|
|Baby Blue bracelet||2 left||$10.00|
|Baby Pink bracelet||7 left||$10.00|
|Black bracelet||None left||$10.00|
|Red bracelet||15 left||$10.00|
When I was sixteen years old, I noticed a small patch of dry, itchy, red skin on the back of my arm. I went to the dermatologist and was prescribed a cream used to treat psoriasis. I didn't think much of it at the time, but that turned out to be just the beginning of my battle with the autoimmune disease. In the coming years, more spots appeared until my arms and legs were 50% covered in salmon colored dots.
As if the itching and burning weren't enough, I also struggled with the social consequences of the disease. My clothing options became limited to long sleeve shirts and pants--even in the summer months. I would find tears rolling down my face after strangers would curiously ask what the spots on my skin were. I was annoyed, upset, and most of all, extremely uncomfortable. I spent nights tossing and turning since I couldn’t stop itching.
Topical creams were unsuccessful. Two trials of phototherapy only produced short-term results. Taking up a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and nightshade vegetable-free diet was unsustainable. After all of these failed, I was scared to try my last resort: a type of drug called a biologic.
Commercials with long lists of side effects had worried me and made me wary of going on these drugs. However, I really felt as though I had no other choice. I spoke to multiple dermatologists and a rheumatologist who all felt that it was the best course of action for me. I began to read reviews about biologics; people referred to them as life-changing wonder drugs, with little to no visible side effects. It almost seemed too good to be true. Eventually, I hesitantly decided to give it a try. Within a month, I noticed a significant improvement in the appearance of my skin--plus, all my symptoms had almost completely gone away.
I had been struggling with the physical and social effects of psoriasis for over three years, but after just two months on a biologic, my skin was nearly 100% clear.
I am so grateful not only for the drug itself but also that I was able to have access to it. When I later looked up the price of the drug for people whose insurance did not cover it, I was shocked. The cost for just one dose of the drug is approximately $8,000. In order for the drug to be effective, four doses would be required per year--totaling an absurd $32,000 annually.
I am lucky to have access to a biologic, but many others who need it are not as fortunate. I started Project Psmile because I want to help people in desperate need of help with their psoriasis get access to these treatment options.
I am working toward this goal by selling handmade bracelets and contributing 100% of the proceeds to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF).
Please join me in my journey to spread awareness and understanding about psoriasis by telling friends and family about Project Psmile.