Hollywood Producer Turned IBD Advocate
Brooke Abbott was like most college graduates: young, eager, and ambitious. After several internships for major networks like HBO, the 24-year-old had finally landed her first production management position for a television show. But one day while working on set, she collapsed.
What she didn’t know was that she had been experiencing symptoms of IBD, and for quite some time--dizziness, stomach pains, and tiredness. In January 2008, her doctor confirmed her colitis diagnosis.
“I heard of Crohn’s and I had heard of IBS but I didn’t know anything about ulcerative colitis. So when I first got the diagnosis, I freaked out. I had just started the TV show, and my career was finally starting to pick up speed. So I was scared." From that moment, Brooke immersed herself in information about her disease. It wasn’t long before she had her colitis under control, and she was back working for shows like ABC's hit series "Desperate Housewives." Brooke soon found out she was pregnant with her son Jax.
Life took another unexpected turn for Brooke in 2012. After nearly losing her life from IBD-related complications, her colon was removed and she was given a J-pouch. “I was a single mom. I had no career, no insurance, and I was extremely sick,” said Brooke. “My whole life was turned upside down. I felt out of control. I felt like (IBD) was going to stall or completely end my career.”
But Brooke was wrong.
Now 30, Brooke has created a new, fulfilling professional path with the help of her popular blog The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles, which follows her and her son’s life as she manages being a working mom with IBD for nutrition company Happy Family Superfoods. She is also the co-founder and director of her own afterschool program for young people.
Brooke is optimistic about one day returning to a Hollywood set full-time, but for now she has happily found a new voice and passion working from home, building her outreach, and helping others--especially other moms--with IBD.
“I had to completely change my life. Now my focus is my family. My objective is helping others through my blog. IBD has completely changed the direction of my career and I had to come to terms with that, but for me, it has been a blessing in disguise.”
To learn more about Brooke's IBD journey, visit her blog The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles.