Marketing executive Lynn Wunderman founded the Raynaud’s Association in 1992. While vacationing in New Hampshire in 1990, Lynn felt such severe pain and swelling in her toes she could barely fit into a pair of shoes or boots. At first, she chalked up the problem to poor circulation. When the problem persisted, she had no choice but to go to the emergency room to seek medical attention. It took months of persistent probing with doctors to successfully diagnose her condition as Raynaud’s.
Once aware of the condition, Lynn recognized she had experienced the classic symptoms of Raynaud’s for years: The triad white, blue, red change of color of her fingers and toes when exposed to cold temperatures. Even holding a glass with ice cubes caused pain.
“I learned not only that my problem had a name, but that people with Raynaud’s could benefit from treatment and lifestyle adjustments,” she said. “When I was diagnosed there was no place to go for information or help in dealing with everyday activities, such as holding a cold glass or shopping in the refrigerated section of the supermarket.”
The association Lynn founded, originally called the Raynaud’s and Cold Sufferers Network, has grown rapidly from a regional to a national organization and now serves members worldwide. The Raynaud’s Association has developed working relationships with leading researchers from the National Institutes of Health, the country’s top rheumatologists who serve on the organization’s Medical Advisory Board, and manufacturers actively investing in products to provide warmth and comfort to the Raynaud’s community.