My name is Bryce Solinger, I am currently a 17-year-old high school junior but my battle with Crohn's disease began at age 13.
They say Crohn's is an invisible disease because it's internal in nature. I suffered silently for many months of stomach pain and a painful abscess before I finally came to my mom for help. I was also starting to lose a lot of weight and strength.
My parents and I began a journey to figure out what was going on with me. We were very lucky that with the help of great doctors at St Joesph's Hospital in Orange, CA and CHOC I was able to get a diagnosis of Crohn's and to start Remicade treatments fairly quickly.
When I was first diagnosed, I was very sad, why did this happen to me? I have played baseball since age four, it has always been my passion. I was playing for a great travel ball team and there was no way I was going to take a lot of time off. I was also a 7th grader at a new school. I missed many days of school that year, but I still managed to get A's in almost all of my classes. I also missed more baseball than I wanted to, but I still kept going and continue to play for my high school and on a travel team to this day. I will be applying to colleges this fall and look forward to pursuing my education as a business major and hopefully sports management to further my love of sports.
Sometimes I feel that people don't understand the struggle those of us with an IBD disease go through because it isn't something visible to the eye, yet we struggle internally. I have dealt with some challenging baseball coaches that didn't always understand why I had to miss a practice or two. I rarely ever miss games; I have fought through the pain to play and be there for my team. I wanted to share my story and I will walk for Take Steps because I want others to know of the struggles we go through. If I could share any words of advice with anyone it would be to never give up on your dreams and to educate people regarding your illness so they may understand.