I am a junior nursing major at Villanova University, and I am from Bethesda, MD. I’m involved in both the Washington D.C. and Philadelphia chapters. The past four years, I have participated in the DC chapter’s Take Steps walk, which is one of my favorite awareness and fundraising events. I also participated in my first Day on the Hill in May, where we lobbied to congressmen and women on behalf of the CCFA. I strongly encourage anyone to join us this coming May, because the experience was extremely eye opening and I learned so much about CCFA, research on IBD, and legislation!
Now for a little about myself, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease as a junior in high school. While my case of Crohn’s is very severe, I have been lucky to avoid surgery, and have had great success with my Remicade infusions. The first six months after being diagnosed were the hardest, as it is with many IBD patients. I missed too much school, could hardly walk because of the constant pain, dropped a lot of weight, and was waiting for my doctor to pick a treatment (other than Prednisone) that worked.
I know that a place like Campus Connections would have helped me a lot. The support and advice from other teens fighting IBD is exactly what could have lifted my morale. Since then, I’ve realized how precious good health is, and I’ve decided that IBD won’t rule over me as it once did. I know how strong I’ve become from the fight against Crohn’s, and as youth, I know we all have the ability to help each other fight and become stronger, and make a different in the world of IBD. This is my second year on the National Youth Council and I am excited to work with the amazing group of NCCL members as advocates for the CCFA, to form a community for the youth suffering from IBD, and to spread awareness about Crohn’s and colitis!