Vote For “Determination” by Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) Patient Maria Williams |

Determination by Maria Williams

Determination by Maria Williams (ref photo by Bob Barton)

My name is Maria, I am 43 years old and I have Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS).

I had my first abscess at the age of 22, a baptism of fire, my first abscess would lead to my first emergency surgery. After 9 years of uncertainty, frustration, antibiotics and numerous surgeries later, I finally received a diagnosis of HS. The diagnosis only meant I had a name for the disease that plagued me relentlessly, nothing had really changed. With each passing year, each period of antibiotics or surgery I was losing myself, my identity. Pain worries about medication, surgeries, finances, relationships…

I had lost Maria.

I have always had spells where I would take an interest in sketching, always finding it relaxing but like most things that too had been lost to HS, until just over 2 years ago, when I purchased my first pastel pencils. I was eager to get creating once again. My artwork was not only relaxing but I also gained a sense of purpose again. I was not just creating art but creating a sense of well being, putting a bit of Heart and Soul into the meaning of having HS.

I have found Maria again.


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“ (est. 2010) is an online gallery dedicated to artists affected by a rare disease. creates a permanent, free, virtual space where “rare artists” can express themselves and submit their work for public viewing.”

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