The Jamie Hopper Family
No one ever expects to get diagnosed with a chronic illness. No one prepares you for the impact it will have on your entire family. When Jamie was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2014, our family had no idea what that was. We were just grateful that it wasn’t cancer! We knew that Crohn’s disease was having an impact on our family but had no idea the depth of its reach on our lives.
Jamie has been blessed to only have one surgery due to IBD, and it actually happened before his diagnosis. He has never achieved remission and still has issues every day. The fatigue can be overwhelming. Sometimes, the hardest part for him is waking up tired every day. Working from home has been a blessing because he must wake up three to four hours before he needs to be anywhere to get through his “morning routine” of running back and forth to the bathroom 4-7 times.
This has affected our family in many ways. Having IBD can make it difficult to plan anything, especially things early in the morning or anything that is not near a bathroom. Our family loves to do outdoor activities and going to Kings Island each summer. When taking road trips, it is a struggle to get out the door at a decent time. Just recently, Jamie missed a memorial service for an aunt, because he would have had to wake up in the middle of the night to get to Chicago on time. Twice a year, he has a business trip to Cincinnati, and he has started staying an extra night because it is too much to make it there in the morning straight from home.
Jamie’s wife, Leslie, is constantly concerned for his health, especially the effect her cooking has on the way he is feeling. Over time, Jamie’s weight has fluctuated by as much as 80 pounds because of how he is feeling. It is also hard to see the impact it has on our kids, ages 10 and 13. They worry about their dad’s health. It’s hard to see the look on their faces when Dad says he isn’t feeling well. It’s also very hard on them when we can’t do some of the things we planned to do at the last minute, or if they have to go places without him.
It wasn’t until 2019 that we were blessed to get connected to the Indiana Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Many people are trying to do this alone. Our family is rooted in faith, but it is a real blessing to know that there is a loving, supportive group of people, like an extended family, who knows what we are going through and that we can lean on. We are thankful for the work of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and the hope it brings us!
The Hopper family is 100% committed to Take Steps because we want to make sure no other families must go through what we go through. We believe that a cure will be found, not only for Jamie, but so our kids never have to endure similar struggles. Fundraising for Take Steps has really shown us all the love and support we have through our family and friends. We encourage all of you to join a team and help us fight for a cure! Take Steps has become a life-changing event for our family! Please join us on June 11, 2022 at Conner Prairie in Fishers!