Lori Obluck of the Wisconsin Chapter, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-1), and Lynn Sanders
Lynn has a rare arthritis condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). At an early age, she suffered with sprains, dislocation, and joint pain and was told that she had "growing pains," which eventually would "go away."
At age 28, during her problematic pregnancy with her third child, she was referred to and diagnosed by a genetic doctor. She was relieved to get a diagnosis and began to familiarize herself with this little-known condition.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome refers to a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues — primarily your skin, joints and blood vessel walls. The cause is genetic defects that disrupt the production of collagen, a chief component of connective tissue. EDS is relatively uncommon. Treatment usually focuses on managing the signs and symptoms of the particular type.
More than 13 years ago, Lynn helped start the Milwaukee and later Madison branches of the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Foundation to help families deal with EDS. " I wanted people who suffer from EDS to learn more about their rare syndrome. I didn’t want anyone to feel alone, like I did when I was first diagnosed," said Sanders. Presently, more than 200 families are involved.
Lynn also joined the Arthritis Foundation, Wisconsin Chapter, serves as the Chair of its advocacy committee, and is an Arthritis Ambassador. She has participated in the Advocacy Summit and worked to help pass the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act.
Lynn recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Chapter. "Volunteering has helped me better understand people and myself. I believe this is truly my calling; touching the lives of people I know or may never know."