In 2010 Nina Kolker noticed small black spots under some of her fingernails. A visit to her rheumatologist revealed an upsetting diagnosis: Raynaud's syndrome. In this disease, cold temperatures or strong emotions cause blood vessel spasms, blocking blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears and nose.
Born in Ukraine, Kolker was a civil engineer in Russia before moving to Walnut Creek in the early 1990s. While she had experienced symptoms of the disorder for years, the busy mom of two mostly brushed them off and carried on[...]