At 12 years old I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – I was going to become an artist. That same year, I realized that what I wanted to do, and what I would do, were often at odds. My Crohn's diagnosis in 2009 changed my journey in a way I could have never imagined.
My case is aggressive and complicated, and over the last 10 years (happy anniversary to me!) I’ve spent months at a time in hospitals, have had 9 major surgeries plus countless other procedures and maintenance therapies; I’ve missed out on holidays, special occasions and memories that can’t be replaced; all while juggling medical appointments and pain with homework, finals, and work.
June 2017, on my actual 21st birthday my case required emergency surgery followed by unexpected outcomes including 5 subsequent surgeries in 2018/19. This forced me to withdraw from school and a dream internship which was hard, but having 4 consecutive semesters go uninterrupted by surgery was crushing.
I was able to make it through the spring semester at colummbia college and am on track to graduate in May 2020 then undergo my final surgery so long as my August 5th surgery goes well. It has been an interesting journey, but I’m 2 surgeries and 2 semesters away from accomplishing 2 of my biggest goals in life; graduating and going into remission.
Still, I'm determined not to let Crohn’s define me, or direct my journey. So that's why I’m getting on a bike on September 22, 2018 and spinning my way down a new path! It's not how far I go (right? it's a stationary bike), it's how far I've come!
Help me reach my goal of raising $2,500 for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. Every little bit helps, and I appreciate your support. Crohn’s may be chronic, but so is my hope for the cure!