Chicoya Smith's Story

I Won’t Be Defeated

It all started during my sophomore year in college in 2011. I was leaving class nauseous and very weak. My mom, who was 200 miles away, met me at the hospital. Eighteen hours and numerous tests later, they sent me home. They said I definitely did not have Crohn's.

For the next five years, I exhibited symptoms of Crohn's. I was in and out of the hospital for infusions. I was constantly tired. I do not know how I made it this far with little-to-no energy. Then, in October 2016 during my second year in law school, I was rushed to the hospital again because I was losing lots of blood.

A few months later, I was told I had Crohn's and it was so bad that I needed surgery before starting treatment. I was so close to the finish line. I had one more year left in law school before I would achieve the biggest goal I've set for myself. Being a lawyer is my dream - it's what I told my mom I wanted to be at the age of five. Now, I was faced with the possibility of having to put it on hold because of my health. I thought there was no way I could finish school in this capacity.

I was wrong! I was able to finish my second year successfully before having my surgery, and I am now ready to finish my last year of law school. It has been a difficult journey, and I still don't know the ins and outs of Crohn's. What I do know is that it won't stop me from accomplishing my goals or living my dreams. I came to fight and to conquer! To make it this far is such a blessing and I won't be defeated by Crohn's.