Dear family & friends,
Prior to 2015, admittedly, we didn't know much of anything about Crohn's Disease. We had no idea that 1 in 200 Americans live with Crohn's and colitis, yet there is no cure. Little did we know that we would soon come to know about the disease all too well. In December of 2015, after a year of tests and visists to specialists due to anemia and fatigue, Sydney was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. She endured a colonoscopy and endoscopy to confirm her diagnosis. Upon diagnosis, she was put on a stiff dose of steroids, which for a 10 year old girl was a difficult experience, as we tried to get the Crohn's under control. Little did we know, but her growth was being affected by the inflamation caused in her colon from the disease. Once we were able to get the disease under control through different medications she began to feel better and grow! We were thrilled to see her energy levels improve and see her once again running in soccer games without the fatigue we saw prior to her diagnosis. We are thankful we found the root cause of what was ailing her, however, it is still a daily battle for her to maintain remission. Sydney currently takes 5 pills a day to keep her inflammation down and she endures routine blood draws to make sure the Crohn's is kept in check. Unfortunately, she still battles some days of not feeling well and she fights through those feelings to maintain all she does on a daily basis. We are amazed by her drive and courage in dealing with Crohn's. She recently attended Camp Oasis through the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation in Elkhorn, WI for a week and had an amazing time. She was able to meet and listen to many other stories from young adults her age on how they handle Crohn's disease. We are so thankful for opportunities such as these that the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation provides.
And the story continues.....
In June of 2016, Abigail had not been feeling well and upon taking her to the ER in what we thought was going to be a surgery to remove her appendix turned out to be an entirely different story. About 1/2 way through the surgery, the surgeon came out of surgery mid through to tell Kevin and I that Abby had a perforated colon due to Crohn's disease. Upon hearing this, we were dumbfounded, scared, and in shock. We honestly didn't think it was possible, especially after Sydney's recent diagnosis and the fact that prior to this, we knew no one in our family with a prior history of Crohn's disease. Needless to say, our first concern was making sure Abby was safe and her surgery successful. This meant her having a bowel resection, which was major surgery and recovery. One of the hardest things we've ever had to do was to tell Abby what had really been discovered in her surgery once she woke up. However, we were at least comforted in knowing she would see that it was possible to live a full life because of Sydney's example.
After Abby's diagnosis, it was determined that her Crohn's was more aggressive than Sydney's so it was decided that she was to be put on an every 8 week regimin of Remicade, which is a drug that needs to be infused through an IV. It is a process that can take anywhere from 4-8 hours in either a hospital or infusion center. Through this we also finally found the answer as to why Abby was so tiny for her age....her Crohn's disease was not letting nutrients be absorbed properly for her to grow. Once she started on Remicade, she finally started to grow! However, Abigail deals with her disease daily as it robs her of energy, gives her stomach aches, headaches, fatigue and it makes her immune system comprised which leads to more colds, etc. Not the ideal scenario for a teenager who is always on the go with school, work and dance committments! Unfortunately Abigail also endured her second surgery in May of 2018 due to scar tissue build up from her previous surgery. Yet, she continues to prove that Crohn's won't define her OR slow her down.
Because of all that our girls endure and all those who are afflicted with Crohn's we are determined to continue to push for a cure for Crohn's so that all those affected don't have to deal with these life challenges!
Kevin and I are also proud to be on the Spin4 Crohn's and Colitis Cures committee this year. This year's event will be held on Sunday, October 29 at The Chop Shop. It promises to be an awesome time! Our team of 16 people will be participating in a 2 hour indoor cycling event and we are committed to raise $4000! We know we can reach our goal and hopefully surpass it!
Your donation will help support local patient programs, as well as important research projects. Please help us in our fundraising efforts to support the Foundation and a cure for Crohn's and Colitis! No donation is too small!
We spin4 cures!
Thank you so much,
The Determined Dolhay family and team
About Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both major categories of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). IBD affects an estimated 1.6 million Americans. These chronic diseases tend to run in families and they affect males and females equally. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and may affect any part from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition limited to the colon, otherwise known as the large intestine.
The Mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is: To cure and prevent Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through education and support.