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Working at the IPPF: 101

PV, HTML, BP, CSS, MMP… if being a teenager wasn’t already hard enough!
How do you even pronounce it?

by Lillian Dodd
Cristo-Rey High School, Sacramento CA
IPPF Intern

Hi, my name is Lillian Dodd; I am a freshman at Cristo Rey High School  here in Sacramento. Once a week I come in and work here at the International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation to offset the cost my tuition for school. I update the News and Information section of the website (www.pemphigus.org/news) by adding new articles. In the few months I have been here, I have learned so much about these diseases. Pemphigus is an autoimmune skin disease with symptoms like 3rd degree sunburns or really bad blisters. Pemphigus can spread from you arms, eyes and even the mouth.

When I was at school and they told me where I was working at IPPF, I said “What is that?” When I first saw pictures of pemphigus and pemphigoid I thought to myself, “How painful and sad to have people out there in the world with this on their body and skin.” This doesn’t just affect them — it affects everybody around them. I have learned that these diseases affect everybody in a different way. Generally, only middle aged or older people get this condition. However, Pemphigus affects people of all races, although Ashkenazi decent may be at higher risk. There are 3 ways a doctor can tell if you have pemphigus: visual exam, lesion biopsy, and direct immunoflorescence.

Some of the things I do here are edit/update the website and “ping” them out. I use www.ping.fm to send the articles out to Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. When I send these articles out, our “friends” out there can understand more about what we do and the resources available to them. I’m what you can call an “office assistant”. I also answer phones, reply to emails, copy, fax and mail out letters.

Like most of my generation, I thought knew a lot about the internet, but teens know absolutely nothing compared to a lot of people. Some of the things I have learned here are the “behind-the-scenes” of the internet. If it weren’t for my bosses, Molly and Will, I never would have known the internet like I know it today. I definitely would have never understood things such as coding, decoding, HTML, CSS, etc. And I didn’t realize how much of an impact I made on the patients just by updating the websites every week.

I manage the IPPF Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter accounts. I help get the IPPF name out there to raise money and help find a cure for these diseases. Over the next couple of months I hope to gain more HTML knowledge and experience. I think this will help me later down the road because I want to become a teacher or something to do with working with young children. I think this will help me with creating interactive learning tools. I think knowing HTML will improve my chances at getting a job because as time goes on we are becoming more internet and technology savvy.

Lily

Posted in Issue 59 - Winter 2009

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