By Ed Becker
Carole Studdard was honored March 9, 2019, for her volunteer work as a chapter leader, at the Vasculitis Patient Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Although she now lives in Richmond, Virginia, Studdard traveled to the conference, where she was recognized with a special plaque for leading and growing the Arizona Vasculitis Foundation (VF) Chapter for many years.
Studdard was diagnosed with Takayasu arteritis in 2003 and has been in remission since 2008. It was her experience as a patient that led her to create the Phoenix VF chapter.
“When I learned the VF had chapters in various parts of the country, but not in the Phoenix area, I thought one could be created and I could do that. So, I did,” recalled Studdard. “Interestingly, it wasn’t just patients seeking information, but medical professionals, also. Having a chapter allowed us to invite specialists to speak with patients in an informal setting.”
Although she lives on the other side of the country now, being involved with the VF is still a priority. “I am grateful for the commitment of the VF as the organization that is responsible for lobbying, accessing funding and investing in vasculitis education—all of which are contributing to better health. Let’s all continue to work together; we know the value of partnerships. Together, much has been learned. Together, this will continue,” she said.