Former New England Patriot Matt Light Shares Crohn's Battle With US News & World Report

By: Angela Haupt
January 23, 2013

In June 2004, New England Patriots players gathered at owner Robert Kraft's home to receive their Super Bowl rings. But the team wasn't complete. Matt Light, who helped earn the victory, wasn't there. He was in the midst of a 30-day hospital stay, fighting through complications that had developed from having a 13-inch section of his intestine removed. He couldn't eat for a month and lost 55 pounds, dropping to his lowest weight since high school.

During Light's 11 seasons with the Patriots, from 2001 to 2012, football fans knew he was the most successful left tackle in the team's storied history. What they didn't know was that Light was battling Crohn's disease—an often debilitating inflammatory bowel disease—throughout his entire career. That meant severe abdominal pain, fatigue, and persistent diarrhea, among other symptoms. Light, 34, didn't speak publicly about his struggles until May, when he announced his retirement. Now, he wants to educate and encourage others who are experiencing what he went through. Light shared his story with U.S. News. Read the full interview here.