photo of KimberlyKnown as the Self-Love Sister on Instagram and on the podcast Self-Love Corner, I talk about autoimmune diseases, chronic illness and, most importantly, self-love. I strongly believe, as singer and songwriter Ellie Holcomb has said, “When you make a mistake, respond to yourself in a loving way rather than a self-shaming way.” Self-love is not selfish. You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.

I was diagnosed with scleroderma and Raynaud’s disease at the early age of 12. Scleroderma, which is linked to Raynaud’s, can cause lesions in blood vessels, inflammation, and scarring throughout the body. Vascular damage and inflammation like this can lead to blood clots in a person’s veins. At 21, I was then diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a condition that increases a person’s risk for blood clots and, in fact, has caused me to have two strokes. I also have developed blood clots on the left side of my brain.

My Instagram page, focused on autoimmune diseases, was started when I was 22, and five years later my work with it continues today, as I know that diseases like these can impact anyone at any age, and anyone can, for example, experience debilitating effects like stroke.

Much more work is needed to build awareness of these diseases and during Blood Clot Awareness Month I hope to also raise awareness about autoimmune diseases, blood clot risks, and stroke.


Learn more about blood clots here.