Welcome Members!

Welcome to Living with Epidermolysis Bullosa Patient Community!

Our mission at Ben’s Friends is to ensure that patients living with rare diseases or chronic illnesses, as well as their caregivers, family, and friends, have a safe and supportive place to connect with others like them.

This is an online support group for patients, friends and families affected by Epidermolysis bullosa. Epidermolysis bullosa (ep-ih-dur-MOL-uh-sis buhl-LOE-sah) is a group of rare diseases that cause fragile, blistering skin. The blisters may appear in response to minor injury, even from heat, rubbing, scratching or adhesive tape. In severe cases, the blisters may occur inside the body, such as the lining of the mouth or the stomach.

Most types of epidermolysis bullosa are inherited. The condition usually shows up in infancy or early childhood. Some people don’t develop signs and symptoms until adolescence or early adulthood.

Epidermolysis bullosa has no cure, though mild forms may improve with age. Treatment focuses on caring for blisters and preventing new ones. Epidermolysis bullosa signs and symptoms vary depending on type. They include:

  • Fragile skin that blisters easily, especially on the hands and feet
  • Nails that are thick or don’t form
  • Blisters inside the mouth and throat
  • Thickened skin on the palms and soles of the feet
  • Scalp blistering, scarring and hair loss (scarring alopecia)
  • Thin-appearing skin (atrophic scarring)
  • Tiny white skin bumps or pimples (milia)
  • Dental problems, such as tooth decay from poorly formed enamel
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Itchy, painful skin

Living with Epidermolysis Bullosa is a virtual community intended to be a safe place for patients and family members as young as age 12, to visit for information, discussion, venting and mutual support. Members come from many backgrounds. Some have a strong religious faith, and others no faith; some are children and others adults, rich and poor, graduate educated or taught by life. Our common denominators are that we share a life journey, and we try to help each other.

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How is Ben’s Friends Different from Social Media and Other Support Sites?

Our mission at Ben’s Friends is to ensure that patients living with rare diseases or chronic illnesses, as well as their caregivers, family, and friends, have a safe and supportive place to connect with others like them.

We’re interested in you as a person, and in your struggles as a rare disease patient.  But we don’t want to know your name or where you live. We won’t even allow you to use your real name when you register for one of our communities. Because when it comes to medical things, anonymity is important in our googly universe.  Your information is never shared, and your activity never tracked by adware.

When Ben’s Friends asks for the country and region you live in, that’s in case your fellow members can recommend local resources and help, and so everyone knows what kind of medical system there is where you live.  That’s important when it comes to giving and getting support. Because we are all about support, and we’re all in this together.. 

Ben’s Friends: Safe and Supportive. 
And anonymous to keep it that way.

Why create an account?

Posts on the different Ben’s Friends communities can be read by anyone on the internet. You can browse through the different topics and find most of the information you’re looking for but there are many things you won’t be able to do unless you create an account. These include:

Making your own posts. Although you’re able to find useful information just by reading other members’ posts, you might still have a lot of questions in your mind. Either you want to start a new topic to talk about them in detail or you want to reply to a comment on a thread. These won’t be possible unless you create a new user account.

Viewing other members’ profiles. Member profiles include information about the country or region they are from, whether they are a patient or a caregiver, and details about their disease and treatments. Maybe you came across an interesting post and you want to learn more about the member. Or maybe you’re looking for members who are from the same country as you. Having a user account allows you to see other member profiles and find information that may be relevant.  

Sending private messages. Aside from being able to post publicly and commenting on a thread, having a user account also allows you to send private messages both to other members and moderators. In case you want to discuss a topic only with a specific person, this is possible by sending private messages when you have created your account.

Click here to create an account and join.

Latest Discussions

  • Sascha Gallardo – June 10, 2020 The anonymity of members in Ben’s Friends communities allows them to freely share their experiences, doubts and worries. They safely find comfort from fellow patients without revealing their identity. Researchers, at the same time, can gain insights from our communities that could leapfrog the discovery of long-awaited treatments as […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – May 21, 2020 COVID-19 forced millions of people worldwide to stay at home. Governments imposed measures such as physical distancing, stay-at-home, and total lockdown to contain the disease as it spread from China to the rest of the world. While these steps aimed to keep people safe from the virus, the isolation […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – June 4, 2020 Providing a safe and supportive community for patients is our top priority at Ben’s Friends. We want members to freely ask questions, share opinions, and express emotions without having to worry about inappropriate reactions from others. And this has always been possible because of members who voluntarily devote time […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – June 15, 2020 The patients who visit our sites have tons of questions on their mind related to their symptoms, which clinic to visit, the medications they are taking, and the treatment procedures they will undergo. They want a space to find answers as well as comfort from people who truly care. […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – July 1, 2020 We’re excited to announce that Ben’s Friends has partnered with ClozTalk, a social impact company that helps charities raise people’s awareness of their mission. ClozTalk now designs apparel like t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets with the logo of Ben’s Friends. As more people get to know our organization through the […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – August 31, 2020 Delays in getting an accurate diagnosis for a rare disease is very common. Patients would visit a physician, present their symptoms, and then they would be told there is nothing wrong with them. They’d visit another one, would be referred to a specialist, and then get some tests done […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – September 29, 2020 Ben’s Friends co-founder and chairman, Ben Munoz, was interviewed recently for the Rare Leader, a regular feature of the Global Genes’ Rare Daily website. In the Q&A piece, Ben shares how the organization started, its mandate and strategy, new projects and management philosophy. Ben underscores how important focus is […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – October 26, 2020 Ben’s Friends has been successfully running online patient communities for thirteen years and it just continues to grow. We are home to the most active communities of AVM survivors, people living with psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and eagle syndrome, to name a few. Thanks to our moderators who dedicate their […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – November 5, 2020 Ben’s Friends co-founder and board member Scott Orn was featured recently in John Garrett’s podcast. Titled What’s Your And?, the podcast focuses on the guests’ interests or what they love to do outside of their job and how these interests affect their work. In the episode, Scott talked about […]
  • Sascha Gallardo – January 29, 2021 Having a rare or chronic illness can make a person feel isolated and lonely. They may have people who definitely care but they would constantly need to connect with someone who is going through the same things. Having people around who care is one thing, but having people in […]