Maureen Sauve Award Photos

About the Award

SPIN’s work would not be possible without the unwavering dedication of many individuals in the scleroderma community, who are working to support scleroderma research and care, improve quality of life in scleroderma, and raise awareness about the disease.

 In 2018, SPIN founded the Maureen Sauvé Inspiration Award to recognize the remarkable accomplishments of these individuals. The award is named in honour of Maureen Sauvé, who has had a tremendous impact as an advocate for people living with scleroderma in Ontario, across Canada, and internationally. As past-President of both Scleroderma Canada and the Scleroderma Society of Ontario, she helped increase membership, expand their programs, and raise the profile of both organizations. Along with Dr. Brett Thombs, Maureen spearheaded the formation of SPIN by securing its initial seed funding in 2010. Today, Maureen continues her efforts as the Vice President of Advocacy and Public Relations for Scleroderma Canada and Co-Chair of the SPIN Patient Advisory Board. The SPIN team is tremendously grateful for all that Maureen has done and looks forward to seeing her future achievements.

2018 Recipient

Joep Welling

In 2018, SPIN was honoured to present the inaugural Maureen Sauvé Inspiration Award to Joep Welling in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the scleroderma community. A long-time patient advocate, Joep is extremely passionate about patient advocacy, particularly the inclusion of patients in research and developing treatment guidelines. He has previously served as President of the Dutch organization for systemic autoimmune diseases (NVLE), as a consultant for the Scleroderma Framed Foundation, and as a patient research partner for the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR). He is also an active member of SPIN’s Patient Advisory Board, which oversees SPIN’s overall research direction, and co-led the development of the SPIN-HAND Program, an online program with rehabilitation exercises to improve hand function in scleroderma.