Ram Sundaram (Massachusetts)

School: Boston University

Major: Biology/ Pre-Med

Hometown: St. Charles, MO

My name is Ram Sundaram. I am a freshman majoring in biology with a minor in public health at Boston University, with the hope of pursuing a career as a physician. I started having symptoms at the start of 2019 and was diagnosed in the next months with Ulcerative Colitis, but was re-diagnosed with Crohn’s Colitis months later. After failing many medications and biologics we finally struck gold recently and I have been in remission for the past couple months. That almost two years of active disease was spent mainly in the hospital, bed rest, and for sure on the toilet; getting countless infusions, tests, and procedures; taking medications that caused me to constantly vomit; and having the typical IBD symptoms of severe weight loss, pain, fatigue, and more. This experience was not my favorite but is something that has definitely changed my life positively in many ways for which I am very thankful.
I initially refused to accept that this disease was part of me; I just longed for normality, to be able to get back to sports, school, and going out with friends properly. During my third hospital stay within a six-month period, I witnessed chronically ill children, just about half my age, with smiles on their faces and enjoying their lives as much as they could. Only then did I accept the fact that this disease would be a part of me for the long run, and that I shouldn’t let it define me rather to make the most of the situation like those kids. All in all, this has been a humbling experience, I learned to not take anything for granted from things as simple as getting out of bed to eating food. I also really learned the value of not wanting more but rather giving; the endless support I received from a few people meant the world to me and really helped me get through my rough times. I have made it my goal in life to return this support and be there for those who need it, and so I am very thankful and excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the NCCL and help the IBD community and raise much-needed awareness.