The mission of the Scleroderma Foundation New England is to help people with scleroderma and their families cope with the disease through support programs, physician referrals, educational information and fundraising for research. Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. The disease, which literally means “hard skin,” can cause thickening and tightening of skin, as well as serious damage to internal organs. Scleroderma occurs three to four times more often in women than in men, and the disease also attacks children. The cause of scleroderma is not known, and presently there is no cure.