Welcome 2022 Honored Heroes
Jackson Goodman - 2022 Youth Honored Hero
My name is Jackson Goodman and I am truly excited to be this year's Youth Honored Hero for the Central Ohio Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Take Steps Fundraiser. I am a 13 year old 8th grader at New Albany. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) in November 2018 when I was in the 5th grade. Thankfully, I have been in remission and feeling great since December 2019 because of the combination of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and Remicade. I am so grateful for a treatment plan that has found so much success and hope it continues.
My journey started at the end of 2018. Right after October, I started to have painful stomach aches. With an extremely high calprotectin test and because IBD runs in our family, we knew something was very wrong. I met Dr. Maltz, had a colonoscopy in November, and was diagnosed with mild Ulcerative Colitis. He had me taking two drugs to try and reduce inflammation. When neither alleviated my symptoms, prednisone was added. Prednisone helped with my UC symptoms but the side effects were definitely not worth it. After I stopped taking the steroids, all of my symptoms came back.
Because I did not feel well enough to go to school, I missed about 35 days of school. Granted it was only 5th grade, so it was not very deterimental to my education. I had my second colonoscopy in May of 2019 and my UC had progressed. Dr. Maltz told us that I would have to stay the night at the hospital to start administering Remicade. Remicade quickly got rid of my symptoms and I had four great months until my symptoms returned in November of 2019. After increasing the frequency of my Remicade infusions, my symptoms continued so Dr. Maltz wanted to next increase the dosage. Instead of increasing the dosage, Dr. Maltz agreed to continue the same Remicade amounts but also allow me to try the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for twelve weeks to see if a change in nutrition could help. We chose SCD because it often reduces symptoms and promotes healing of inflamed intestines.
In a matter of weeks of following this diet, my calprotectin test levels dropped to the amount of a healthy person with no IBD or inflammation. Regaining my health made me dedicated to sticking with SCD. During my September 2020 colonoscopy, Dr. Maltz wasn't able to find any inflammation or signs of UC. SCD is a very difficult diet because of the amount of work and discipline required; but with the amount of success I found with it, I would not have it any other way. Since starting the diet in November of 2019, I have been able to do anything and everything without worrying about my UC and I am in remission. I am still on the lowest dosage of Remicade infusions every six weeks and receive them through home health care so I no longer have to miss school for them.
After being on SCD for a couple years now, I can definitely say that you are what you eat. Finding SCD was one of the best things that could have happened because now not only am I healthy, but I also understand gut health, proper diet and nutrition. But I could not have achieved remission alone. My parents were the biggest help in the world for me by being so supportive throughout my journey. Not only were they supportive, but they worked closely with SCD nutritionists to learn the diet and find recipes that were legal and could satisfy some of my non-SCD cravings. I would not be here healthy without them.
I have participated in the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Take Steps Walk for the last three years. In 2021, I individually raised over $13,000. I am so grateful to be named the 2022 Central Ohio Take Steps Youth Honored Hero. I hope for an IBD cure!
Vivek Jasti - 2022 Adult Honored Hero
I remember I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when I was 14, right in the middle of 9th grade. I was one of the taller, heavier guys in my class but I slowly became an above average kid to just below average in height and weight over the course of two years. My middle school memories consisted of extensive work ups because my symptoms were pretty vague.
I have been through my fair share of flare-ups, medication changes, hospitalizations and even surgery. I have recently been in remission on Stelara.
Now I am a resident physician in internal medicine and I have been considering pursuing a fellowship in gastroenterology to have a more meaningful and genuine relationship with my patients.
I am grateful to be given the opportunity to be this year's adult Honored Hero, and I hope I can raise awareness and fundraise for those living with Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis.