Shining Star Shines His Light for Other Kids with IBD

From the outside, Jack Sullivan is your average 13-year-old. However, if you get to know him, you will soon learn this is not quite the case. At the age of 10, Jack found out he had Crohn’s.

“Due to severe hip pain, I couldn’t run or play any sports. I began to get additional symptoms that caused me to lose an extreme amount of weight,” says Jack. “It took some time to (get diagnosed) and I had to miss a lot of days from school for doctors’ appointments.”

After finding a treatment that worked for him, Jack could have just resumed his life as an active young person managing his illness, but he wanted to do more for other children dealing with inflammatory bowel diseases. He decided to join Take Steps, becoming a local hero in Long Island, New York.

“I recognized what I was going through and realized some other kids may be going through the same thing I was, some of them even worse,” Jack says. “I’ve been trying to raise as much money as I can.”

To date, Jack and his family have raised more than $10,000 through lemonade stands, garage sales, and the support of great friends and family. Last year, he took part in the Take Steps Long Island walk as Team Captain of his team Jack’s Crew, which included his parents John and Therese Sullivan (pictured with Jack and his sister Leanna alongside Parent Support Group Leader Denise Miles).  

"Jack is so amazing that he has never complained or felt sorry for himself. He has been so strong," says Therese.

“We could not be any prouder of how he has handled everything,” adds John Sullivan of his son. “When we asked Jack if he wanted to get involved with Take Steps and tell his story, his answer to us was ‘Definitely. If my story helps anybody in any way, it's worth it.’ That’s the type of young man he is.”


The 2014 Take Steps walk season is here! Register today and join thousands of others in the fight against Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis!

Walk with us this spring and help defeat these debilitating digestive diseases once and for all! Our walks are family-friendly community events that are now in all 50 states -- there's over 170 walks scheduled for 2014. The money we raise supports patient programs, raises awareness, and propels critical research for cures. Every step, every participant, and every dollar raised brings us closer to cures.