Our Stories

These special people inspire us with laughter and wisdom. Read their personal stories -- or share one of your own.

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Patient story

Brian's Story

Little did I know that it wouldn’t impact my romantic life much at all. So much so, that I started a relationship with a girl two days before my ostomy surgery. I told her what was ahead, and she was just happy I would be healthy enough for us to spend time together. 

Clinical trial story

Andrea’s Story

In 2014, I was on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. I was completely healthy before going to the show, but I was extremely obese. I was unhappy and had zero self-worth, but by the time our season finale aired in January 2015, I shed almost 100 pounds and felt amazing! My self-confidence was through the roof and for the first time in over 20 years, I was completely happy and healthy. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive husband, son, and family. After the show, I continued to work out six days a week and ate extremely healthy food. In June 2015, I completed my first triathlon and felt on top of the world. I kept my weight off for over a year—not an easy task! But life came crashing down in May of 2016.

Clinical trial story

Amanda’s Story

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 17 years old. I began experiencing symptoms during my junior year of high school. Three months later, two-and-a-half weeks of school missed, and two surgeries to resolve fistulas, I was diagnosed. My care team and I began two years of exploring and tweaking my medication regimen until we finally found a treatment that worked. Fast forward seven years, I began developing antibodies against this medication and was placed on a different biologic which I have been on ever since.

Clinical trial story

Kira's Story

Beginning in my college years, I struggled with occasional GI symptoms. I always brushed it off as stress or something I ate. It wasn’t until several years after I graduated and was in my professional career that my symptoms worsened so much that I could no longer ignore it or brush it off. My husband encouraged me to finally see a doctor so we both could see that this was not normal. But, the first GI I went to only saw a healthy looking, young woman, smiling and happy – how could she possibly be sick? He put it off to stress and heartburn, gave me medication for it, and sent me on my way.

Clinical trial story

Zach’s Story

I was diagnosed with moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease when I was 12. Unfortunately, nearly all FDA approved medications have proved unsuccessful for me over the last 20 years, and I’ve required four surgeries involving resections of my colon and small bowel due to the aggressive nature of my case. I’ve experienced symptoms all over my digestive tract, from mouth to anus, and have suffered complications involving skin issues, anemia, weight loss and weight gain, as well as others that many Crohn’s suffers are all too familiar with.

Clinical trial story

Jenn's Story

It all started about 22 years ago— my life changed dramatically halfway through my freshman year of high school. I became very sick. Finding out I had Crohn’s disease threw me into a state of confusion asking, Why Crohn’s? How could this happen? For a young woman at the age of 14, it was devastating. I didn’t want to hear anything about the disease, talk about it, or have anything to do with my friends. I was very confused and angry at the world. Being athletic and not being able to play the sports I wanted to play made things worse.

Clinical trial story

Meet Alysa!

On her seventh birthday, my daughter Alysa was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. She claims it was her most memorable birthday - she was met with so much love from everyone at CHOA (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta) at the Scottish Rite Hospital.

Clinical trial story

Mary's Story

My inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) story started in the fall of 2011. I was in college and dealing with a few stressful things in my life when I started to get sick. I was fatigued, vomiting, not eating, and essentially spending my days in the bathroom. I was already small and lost thirty pounds before being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, just before I turned 21 in 2012. I took a semester off to heal and later returned to complete my bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Clinical trial story

My Heroes

My first time to ever hear the words “Crohn’s disease” was 19 years ago (2000) when a young woman that I attended church with made a request. Her name is Angela and she was searching for a person who would be available to drive her from Sheridan, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee every eight weeks for a treatment. At the time she was participating in a clinical trial for an arthritis drug, which had shown promise in treating Crohn’s disease patients. I volunteered for the job and over the next year, Angela thoroughly educated me about IBD and informed me that Crohn’s was “just something I live with but doesn’t define who I am.” Our trips to Memphis that year made us forever friends and introduced me to a chronic illness that would one day change my own life as well.

Clinical trial story

Kira's Story

Who would have known that a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth would be the start of a lifelong journey? When my daughter Kira was 12 years old, she took a trip to Disney World with our family. While on the vacation of a lifetime, she became ill with severe diarrhea and vomiting. During the cruise, she was confined to her cabin and missed most of the activities on the ship. Once on land, Kira did not seem to get better.

Clinical trial story

Brittany’s Story

I was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease at the age of 19. I tried over 60 medications to alleviate my symptoms, yet nothing touched a single symptom. I was passed around from doctor to doctor for 17 years before having a lifesaving surgery to remove my entire colon in 2015. I was left with a permanent ileostomy. I regret that I’m still not doing well, but I’m thankful I made it through the surgery and no longer have my diseased colon.

Clinical trial story

Nick's Story

My journey with IBD started when I was around 14 years old. I had a series of ear and eye infections and had to go on multiple antibiotics over the course of about a year. Shortly after that time I began to experience many symptoms of IBD including bloody stool, diarrhea, pain, fatigue, and extreme weight loss. People around me noticed and would comment about how skinny I had gotten or how pale I was. Over the next few years, I spent a lot of time at the doctor getting blood tests and colonoscopies, and ultimately was never diagnosed with anything specific. The treatment of choice was an aminosalicylate medication and my symptoms mostly subsided.