My Hardening Skin Is Turning Me Into A Doll
A young woman living with a skin-hardening condition has found confidence with her ‘Tragic Doll’ persona. At just nine-years-old Shirley Alvarez was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma, an autoimmune disease which hardens soft tissue throughout the body and can affect the entire body, including blood vessels. Within a matter of months, Shirley went from using a walker to being a full-time wheelchair user and had to quickly adapt to her new life. Shirley, from Queens, New York, created a new persona called the ‘Tragic Doll’ to express how it feels to live with scleroderma.