Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune disease. Depending on the type, it can be one of the most horrific diseases imaginable,
showing up on many top 10 worst disease lists.Severity of symptoms can vary significantly from person to person. Ron
is doing extremely well and is very fortunate---other people aren't as lucky. His diagnosis gave him a very different view
on life and his goal is to leave Rapid City much better than he found it.
Unfortunately, scleroderma is rare enough that it does not get the attention that it should. A type of scleroderma, systemic
scleroderma (sometimes called systemic sclerosis) can impact the entire body's connective tissue and often comes in
conjunction with Raynaud's syndrome. The following is from Mayo Clinic:
Scleroderma (skleer-oh-DUR-muh) is a group of rare diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and
connective tissues — the fibers that provide the framework and support for your body.
In some people, scleroderma affects only the skin. But in many people, scleroderma also harms structures beyond the skin
— such as blood vessels, internal organs and the digestive tract. Signs and symptoms vary, depending on which structures
Scleroderma affects women more often than men and most commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 50. While there is
no cure for scleroderma, a variety of treatments can ease symptoms and improve quality of life. (from Mayo Clinic's website)
The Scleroderma Foundation is an excellent resource for information on the disease and has helped raise awareness for this
rare and challenging disease. The Scleroderma Foundation is one of the most effective and trustworthy charities, receiving
extremely high marks from watchdog groups for their use of donated funds.
Ron was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma (also called systemic sclerosis) to kick of the new year in 2016. He has been
fortunate to be doing extremely well and have very limited symptoms. The course and severity of the disease varies significantly
from person to person. Ron wants to spread the word and help others who may not be as fortunate with the disease. Ron will be
presenting at the Sclerdoerma Foundation's national conference in Arizona in July 2017 on stress management. He has started a
scleroderma support group (Black Hills Scleroderma Support Group) which meets the first Wednesday of each
month at 5:30PM at the Rapid City Public Library (meetings end by 7PM). The group is open to anyone and is free. Some
food may be provided (pizza). Educational information on scleroderma will be made available at the group.
Artist Paul Klee suffered from scleroderma and his late work, such as "Death and Fire" are inspired by his struggles. Read more
about it below.
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I'm Not Dead Yet!
"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light." - George
© Copyright Ron Sasso
"Relax, Pray & Keep Moving" is how Ron
"I'm Not Dead Yet!"
Ron received some criticism from one of his opponents at a candidate forum about his reduced "energy" since being
diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, systemic scleroderma. He decided that he wanted to have fun with it---and felt it
was important that citizens realized that he was (and is) in fact still alive (and doing well). Anyone who voted for him did not
vote for a dead person. He is definitely alive. He freely admits that he has less energy than he had prior to his diagnosis,
but his energy level is likely higher than over 95 percent of Americans. Ron campaigned door-to-door (usually on his bike).
You may have seen him out running. Though he is now 53 years old, he is still capable of running a mile in under 7 minutes.
Most 22 year olds can't do that. He ran the Crazy Horse Half Marathon in October 2017 and plans to run the
Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Half Marathon in June 2018 as a fundraiser for scleroderma. God willing, he expects to finish
strong and remain steadfastly alive. If anyone is uncertain if he is alive, please feel free to contact him. He returns calls and
emails but expects that he will stop returning calls and emails after he dies.
Ron Sasso Wins Grand Master Division in Wellfully Stampede 10K Race (49:34), finishing 5th overall on a very hot day
(May 7, 2017). It was a race for a great cause, helping our youth overcome challenges. See pictures below:
"I'm not dead yet!"
Ron Sasso completed the Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Half Marathon with a time of 1:43:51.
That's averaging less than 8 minutes a mile for 13.1 miles. When asked what he thought of the
results, Sasso replied with a smile, "Clearly, I'm not dead yet."
Ron logged a total of 1,169 running miles in 2017!
Ron Sasso completed the Crazy Horse Half Marathon with a time of 1:43:09.