1.September 2002 - 1. September 2012

Ten years are a long time, especially for a website, since the internet is a fast-moving and fast-changing world.

When this website was created ten years ago it was barely more than an idea.  An idea to create a place where people affected by vasculitis (patients, family and friends, caregivers) could get information and meet, at least virtually. From today’s point of view I can say it has been a success. More than 290.000 visitors  from all over the world have visited the site.

I spent uncountable hours maintaining the site, it has become part of my life. Without the help of you, my visitors, the site would look totally different, though. Many of you sat down despite your being ill and wrote down your story, how vasculitis affected your life, how you tried to cope with the new situation. Thus we have a wonderful collection of stories representing the huge variety of symptoms of vasculitis and of the effects they have on life. Everytime somebody sends me his or story on vasculitis I feel deeply touched, for I know that writing while having vasculitis is not an easy thing to do. Thanks to all of you who sent me their story.

The Forum, our virtual meeting point, has been a huge success as well. Although friends had warned me (funnily enough I am responsible for the comments you leave) I was hardly ever forced to delete postings. Only once in all these years have I been forced to ban a member of the forum, which I think is remarkable. I thank you for being polite and sensible.

A big and heartfelt "Thank You!" goes out to PD Dr. med. Reinhold-Keller, a specialist for vasculitis, who has given medical advice, has explained medical facts for us laymen, has recommended and explained treatments and has given hope to so many patients in all these years!

I still have a vision, that one day websites like this won’t be necessary anymore, because people know what the term “vasculitis” means. Maybe one day patients won’t need to answer questions like “How contagious is this vasculitis-stuff then?” or questions similarly ridiculous. Hopefully one day vasculitispatients won’t need to fight for recognitions of their disability anymore. Maybe the day will come when there will be a cure, or even better – a way to prevent people from developing vasculitis?

I asked a young man, Simon Maroldt (16) to create a wreath for our anniversary to publish on our website – I think he did a wonderful job.

Here’s to the next decade!

Birgit Wiedenmann-Naujoks