Saanvi Gupte (North Carolina) - NCCL Marketing & Communications Chair
School: WNorth Carolina State University
Hometown: Cary, North Carolina
Hi everyone! My name is Saanvi and I’m a sophomore at NC State University. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in June 2020. My symptoms came on around the same time we entered the pandemic. Starting from March 2020, I faced about 3 1/2 months of uncertainty with what was going on within my body. My grandfather also has Ulcerative Colitis but his diagnosis was over 40 years ago, when the only option was surgery, so my family didn’t really know what exactly I was going through. Due to the family history, I was lucky enough to get diagnosed within the first few appointments. This didn’t make it any easier however. The amount of information that was thrown at me, was overwhelming, we were all in lock down and I felt very isolated. I couldn’t explain what was occurring to my friends, because I feared they wouldn’t understand. The first medication I was placed on worked for about 6 months, during those 6 months I faced extreme denial. I assumed since this medication was working, I was fixed, I was back to being who I was just one year ago. That was not the case. Soon enough, I entered another flare, the medication was no longer working. After a switch of medication, in 4 months I was able to reach some stability once again. Thanks to my doctor, I was able to feel less alone. I joined my hospital’s IBD patient support group where I was introduced to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. I was amazed to see how many people shared similar experiences and feelings, it made me feel more connected and less alone. My first real involvement with the Foundation was through the NCCL. I’m so thankful for this opportunity because it allowed me to connect with others my age and also be the voice for people who are currently facing the same fears that I did just two years ago. My diagnosis pushed me to want to pursue a career in research, as a way to give back to those who have done so much to me. It’s not easy going through an IBD diagnosis, especially if you don’t fully understand what’s going on. You may feel isolated and frustrated that you have no one to connect with on this. I’m so grateful to have found this community that makes me feel supported and am grateful for the opportunity to advocate, educate, and raise awareness for IBD. I hope that sharing my story can help others, as the way other’s stories once did for me!