These special people inspire us with laughter and wisdom. Read their personal stories -- or share one of your own.
Will Lanier, a fitness trainer, doesn’t look the part of a “sick” person. Hidden underneath his fit exterior lies the effects of a disease that plagued his body for more than a decade. In 2005, Will was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a debilitating digestive disease that causes abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, weight loss, and much more.
Since the day I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in July 2005, the thought of motherhood seemed like a far-off reality. Through my patient journey, I’ve experienced countless hospitalizations, flareups, tests and maintenance medications. Each setback and time my body failed me, made me questions whether I would ever be able to bring a life into this world.
At age 17 and as a senior in high school I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. It is something I have hidden from many people for YEARS because it has not been an easy thing for me to talk about. My journey with Crohn's has been far from pleasant and not something that comes up in regular dinner conversation. I was almost ashamed of it for a long, long time and wouldn't even tell my closest friends about it.
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis almost seven years ago. In 2010, I was attempting to enjoy my senior year of high school and third year playing tennis. I'd experienced symptoms of UC for years but remained in denial due to fear and embarrassment. After a week or two in the hospital on a high dose of IV steroids, liquids, painkillers, and even a blood transfusion, my diagnosis was confirmed.
Laura Jane's Story
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in the fall of 2015. That year, I had put off tests and doctors visits as I was uninsured at the time. But after months and months of bleeding, I became severely anemic, had lost a lot of weight, and was going to the bathroom more than 10 times a day. I didn’t know it, but my life was in shambles.
My active, outdoors loving, nine-year-old son Cal was having a wonderful week at a boys’ wilderness day camp seven years ago. What could be better than bows and arrows, canoeing, and jumping off rope swings into a creek? After the last day of camp, we noticed a rash on Cal's legs. It was apparent he had come in contact with poison ivy. Even after treating, the rash became worse and hives developed all over his legs. This seems to have been the trigger that set his ulcerative colitis in motion.
My much healthier half, James, has been a part of my life for most of my 12-year battle with ulcerative colitis. He was around for the tears, the pain, and all my different treatments and diets to try to keep me in remission. By the time we were dating for eight years, my running non-joke bad been, "If we do not get married on the 10 year anniversary of meeting each other, we failed as a couple."
My journey started when I was a normal 14-year-old boy in his eighth grade year of school. I was very active in sports, student council, band, and choir. I began having IBD symptoms in the spring of 2009. I started having to run to the bathroom all the time and constantly being tired and run down. It took three years to get an official diagnosis because I was misdiagnosed with C-Diff.
A few years before I received my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, I was a social work graduate student at West Virginia University. I began experiencing blood and mucus in my stool as well as bouts of constipation and diarrhea. I went to my doctor on more than one occasion, and was continually misdiagnosed.
My name is Courtney and I have been battling Crohn's disease since 2014. It has been quite an undesirable journey, but the disease won't keep me down! I'm so happy to say that I feel the best I have in the two-and-a-half years I have been battling my Crohn's disease diagnosis.
I was very active in high school. I played pretty much every sport I could - I did martial arts, football, track, cross country, and basketball. Being physically fit was important for the sports I played but it was never required to do any outside weight training.
My story begins on March 21, 2011, when I was rushed into an empty operating room late at night as a surgical team scrambled to come together to remove my colon and replace it with an ileostomy.