My journey began at age nine. My first trip to the hospital and what was only a five-day stay felt like an eternity for my newly diagnosed self. Even after my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, I didn’t truly grasp what it meant to have IBD until I began my involvement with the Foundation.
My initial advocacy work began with the opportunity to share my story of triumph at local fundraising dinners and luncheons. The reaction by the many who listened to my story was overwhelmingly positive and made me want to do more within the IBD community. I continued my work with the Foundation when I decided to attend Camp Oasis, which opened the door to meet hundreds of kids like myself who live with Crohn’s and colitis on an every day basis. It was here that I decided I wanted to stay involved with the IBD community even while attending the University of Colorado, so I decided to apply for the National Council of College Leaders.
Through the NCCL, I have had the chance to establish life-long relationships with other like-minded individuals. These peers of mine have since motivated me to advocate even further for a cause much bigger than all of us. Time and time again, I have been reminded by countless volunteers the importance of advocacy, and how even the smallest of things such as sharing your story can have an invaluable impact. Throughout all of my advocacy work, I have learned that the most powerful tool we all possess is our voice, and through it we can work together to find cures.
Click here to get involved during Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week.