Speaking Up About an Uncomfortable Condition by Jane E. Brody

This article was posted in the NY times this week. Very interesting (http://nyti.ms/1jlHAA1)

Bowels, especially those that don’t function properly, are not a popular topic of conversation. Most of the 1.4 million Americans with inflammatory bowel disease — Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis — suffer in silence.

But scientists are making exciting progress in understanding the causes of these conditions and in developing more effective therapies. And affected individuals have begun to speak up to let others know that they are not alone.

Abby Searfoss, 21, who just graduated from the University of Connecticut, shared her story not in a support group, but online. She was a high school senior in Ridgefield, Conn., when she became ill. After she researched her symptoms on the Internet, she realized that, like her father, she had developed Crohn’s disease.

Her father had been very ill, losing 40 pounds, spending weeks in the hospital and undergoing surgery. Soon after Ms. Searfoss’s own diagnosis, her two younger sisters learned that they, too, had the condition.

In Crohn’s disease, the immune system attacks cells in the digestive tract, most often the end of the small intestine and first part of the colon, or large intestine. Sufferers may experience bouts ofabdominal pain, cramps and diarrhea, often accompanied by poor appetite, fatigue and anxiety.

“You don’t go anywhere without checking where the bathroom is and how many stalls it has,” said Dr. R. Balfour Sartor, a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and a patient himself. “The fear of incontinence is huge.”

Neither Crohn’s disease nor its less common relative ulcerative colitis, which affects only the large intestine, is curable (except, in the latter instance, by removing the entire colon). But research into what predisposes people to develop these conditions has resulted in more effective treatments and has suggested new ways to prevent the diseases in people who are genetically susceptible.

Two concurrent avenues of high-powered research are supported by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. One is the C.C.F.A. Genetics Initiative, in which scientists are exploring more than 100 genetic factors now known to influence the risk of developing an inflammatory bowel disease, or I.B.D.

The other research effort, the C.C.F.A. Microbiome Initiative, has so far identified 14 different bacterial metabolic factors associated with the diseases.

By combining findings from the two initiatives, experts now know that certain genes affect the types of bacteria living in the gut; in turn, these bacteria influence the risk of getting an inflammatory bowel disease.

Genes identified thus far appear to account for about 30 percent of the risk of developing an I.B.D., according to Dr. Sartor, who is the chief medical adviser of the foundation. Studies of twins underscore the role of genetics. When one identical twin has Crohn’s disease, the other has a 50 percent chance of also developing it.

In the general population, the risk among siblings of a Crohn’s patient is only 5 percent.

Many people carry genes linked to either Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, but only some of them become ill. Environmental factors that interact with susceptibility genes also play critical roles.

Strong clues to these factors are emerging from a distressing fact: The incidence of I.B.D. is rising significantly both here and in other parts of the world, Dr. Ramnik J. Xavier, chief of gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in an interview.

“There’s been a huge uptick in China and India as these countries move more toward a Western lifestyle and adopt Western work and dietary patterns,” Dr. Xavier said. “I.B.D. cases are now skyrocketing in well-to-do areas of China.”

And when people migrate from a low-incidence area to a higher one like the United States, the risk of developing an I.B.D. rises greatly among their children. ‘This clearly shows there’s an environmental impact that we think is multifactorial,” Dr. Sartor said in an interview.

“Diet is one obvious factor that affects both the composition of the gut biota and also its function,” he said, referring to the microorganisms that inhabit the gut. “Bacteria eat what we eat, and every bacterium has certain food preferences.”

Diet influences the types and balance of microbes in the gut, and different microbes produce substances that are either protective or harmful. For example, Dr. Sartor said, “Certain bacteria that can metabolize the fiber in certain vegetables and grains produce short-chain fatty acids that are believed to protect the gut. They inhibit inflammation and activate immune responses that stimulate recovery from cell injury.”

Another major contributor to the rise in Crohn’s disease in particular is the widespread, often inappropriate use of antibiotics, Dr. Sartor said.

“Early exposure to antibiotics, especially during the first 15 months of life, increases the risk of developing Crohn’s disease, though not ulcerative colitis,” he said. “If there’s a family history of I.B.D., particularly Crohn’s disease, antibiotics should be used only for a documented bacterial infection like strep throat or bacterialmeningitis.

“And when antibiotics are needed, probiotics can be used during and afterward to minimize their effect and restore the normal bacterial population of the gut.”

Dr. Sartor also noted that early exposure to common viruses and bacteria can strengthen the immune system and keep it from attacking normal tissues.

“My advice to parents and grandparents is, ‘Let them eat dirt,’ ” he said.

Dr. Sartor has lived with Crohn’s disease for 43 years and for the most part has managed to keep flare-ups at bay with a proper diet, medications and daily probiotics.

He also suggests that those with a family history of I.B.D. avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, which block the action of protective substances in the gut and can cause ulcers in the lower intestine and the stomach. Acetaminophen is safer, he said.

Many patients say undue stress can cause flare-ups of an I.B.D. And a new study of 3,150 adults with Crohn’s, presented at a recent scientific meeting by Lawrence S. Gaines, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University, suggests that depression — feeling sad, helpless, hopeless and worthless — increases the risk of active disease a year later.

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10 Life Lessons From A Navy Seal.

I found this article online and it really is moving and awesome! Take a moment to read through it.  Here is the direct link but I have copied it below.  http://www.lifebuzz.com/10-lessons-from-navy-seal/#!RQUoD

Naval Admiral William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater last week and spoke to the graduates with lessons he learned from his basic SEAL training.

Here’s his amazing Commencement Address at University of Texas at Austin 2014 from Business Insider.

The University’s slogan is,

“What starts here changes the world.”

I have to admit—I kinda like it.

“What starts here changes the world.”

Tonight there are almost 8,000 students graduating from UT.

That great paragon of analytical rigor, Ask.Com says that the average American will meet 10,000 people in their lifetime.

That’s a lot of folks.

But, if every one of you changed the lives of just ten people—and each one of those folks changed the lives of another ten people—just ten—then in five generations—125 years—the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people.

800 million people—think of it—over twice the population of the United States. Go one more generation and you can change the entire population of the world—8 billion people.

If you think it’s hard to change the lives of ten people—change their lives forever—you’re wrong.

I saw it happen every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A young Army officer makes a decision to go left instead of right down a road in Baghdad and the ten soldiers in his squad are saved from close-in ambush.

In Kandahar province, Afghanistan, a non-commissioned officer from the Female Engagement Team senses something isn’t right and directs the infantry platoon away from a 500 pound IED, saving the lives of a dozen soldiers.

But, if you think about it, not only were these soldiers saved by the decisions of one person, but their children yet unborn—were also saved. And their children’s children—were saved.

Generations were saved by one decision—by one person.

But changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.

So, what starts here can indeed change the world, but the question is… what will the world look like after you change it?

Well, I am confident that it will look much, much better, but if you will humor this old sailor for just a moment, I have a few suggestions that may help you on your way to a better a world.

And while these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform.

It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status.

Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.

I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California.

Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.

It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.

But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.

To me basic SEAL training was a life time of challenges crammed into six months.

So, here are the ten lessons I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.

Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.

If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed.

It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

#1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

During SEAL training the students are broken down into boat crews. Each crew is seven students—three on each side of a small rubber boat and one coxswain to help guide the dingy.

Every day your boat crew forms up on the beach and is instructed to get through the surf zone and paddle several miles down the coast.

In the winter, the surf off San Diego can get to be 8 to 10 feet high and it is exceedingly difficult to paddle through the plunging surf unless everyone digs in.

Every paddle must be synchronized to the stroke count of the coxswain. Everyone must exert equal effort or the boat will turn against the wave and be unceremoniously tossed back on the beach.

For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle.

You can’t change the world alone—you will need some help— and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.

#2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

Over a few weeks of difficult training my SEAL class which started with 150 men was down to just 35. There were now six boat crews of seven men each.

I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had was made up of the the little guys—the munchkin crew we called them—no one was over about 5-foot five.

The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African American, one Polish American, one Greek American, one Italian American, and two tough kids from the mid-west.

They out paddled, out-ran, and out swam all the other boat crews.

The big men in the other boat crews would always make good natured fun of the tiny little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny little feet prior to every swim.

But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the Nation and the world, always had the last laugh— swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.

SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.

#3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection. It was exceptionally thorough.

Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges.

But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle—- it just wasn’t good enough.

The instructors would find “something” wrong.

For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand.

The effect was known as a “sugar cookie.” You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.

There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right—it was unappreciated.

Those students didn’t make it through training.

Those students didn’t understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.

Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.

It’s just the way life is sometimes.

#4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events—long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics—something designed to test your mettle.

Every event had standards—times you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards your name was posted on a list and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to—a “circus.”

A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics—designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.

No one wanted a circus.

A circus meant that for that day you didn’t measure up. A circus meant more fatigue—and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult—and more circuses were likely.

But at some time during SEAL training, everyone—everyone—made the circus list.

But an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list. Over time those students-—who did two hours of extra calisthenics—got stronger and stronger.

The pain of the circuses built inner strength-built physical resiliency.

Life is filled with circuses.

You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.

#5. But if you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.

At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course. The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot high wall, a 30-foot cargo net, and a barbed wire crawl to name a few.

But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three level 30 foot tower at one end and a one level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot long rope.

You had to climb the three tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.

The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977.

The record seemed unbeatable, until one day, a student decided to go down the slide for life—head first.

Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.

It was a dangerous move—seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training.

Without hesitation—the student slid down the rope—perilously fast, instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.

#6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

During the land warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island which lies off the coast of San Diego.

The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks. To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One—is the night swim.

Before the swim the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente.

They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark—at least not recently.

But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position—stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid.

And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you—then summons up all your strength and punch him in the snout and he will turn and swim away.

There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.

#7. So, if you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

As Navy SEALs one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping. We practiced this technique extensively during basic training.

The ship attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over two miles—underwater—using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.

During the entire swim, even well below the surface there is some light that comes through. It is comforting to know that there is open water above you.

But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight—it blocks the surrounding street lamps—it blocks all ambient light.

To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel—the center line and the deepest part of the ship.

This is your objective. But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship—where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship’s machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.

Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission—is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.

#8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

The ninth week of training is referred to as “Hell Week.” It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment and—one special day at the Mud Flats—the Mud Flats are an area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slue’s—a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.

It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure to quit from the instructors.

As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some “egregious infraction of the rules” was ordered into the mud.

The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit—just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.

Looking around the mud flat it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up—eight more hours of bone chilling cold.

The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything and then, one voice began to echo through the night—one voice raised in song.

The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm.

One voice became two and two became three and before long everyone in the class was singing.

We knew that if one man could rise above the misery then others could as well.

The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing—but the singing persisted.

And somehow—the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.

If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan—Malala—one person can change the world by giving people hope.

#9. So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see.

All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims.

Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training.

Just ring the bell.

#10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

To the graduating class of 2014, you are moments away from graduating. Moments away from beginning your journey through life. Moments away from starting to change the world—for the better.

It will not be easy.

But, YOU are the class of 2014—the class that can affect the lives of 800 million people in the next century.

Start each day with a task completed.

Find someone to help you through life.

Respect everyone.

Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and—what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better.

Thank you very much. Hook ‘em horns.

First Half Marathon Goal Met!!!!

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Hi Everyone! I just wanted to share that I have met first goal of raising $3500 for Crohn’s & Colitist Foundation of America today and will be running my first half marathon in honor of everyone affected by this disease on June 22, in Kona, HI. I am running 13.1 miles for each of you! But I won’t stop there. My goal is to raise another $3500 in 2 months and run my second half marathon for people that suffer from these diseases and be able to spread the word about it. Keep your head up! It does get better

Note that I am doing this as an active Crohn’s patient myself. I have had resection of my small intestine so I understand what you are feeling but believe me when I say things get better and anything is possible.

Read more: http://online.ccfa.org/rachelbabcock

Fundraising Update

Hi Everyone! 

I know it has been awhile since I have given my update about fundraising. I must say moving to a new state and trying to fund raise $7k is truly a humbling and challenging experience. Thus far I am $400 away from my Kona goal of $3500.  My half marathon in Kona is about 3 weeks away. Training is going great but definitely hard running alone. I have organized many fundraising events this week to help me get closer to my second half marathon which is 2 months away.

Throughout training I have battled a couple of flare ups due to stress but worked through it. I keep reminding myself that running and fundraising for these 2 half marathons is nothing compared to what some people I know are battling. Crohn’s is a shitty disease (no pun intended). I have managed to keep a good sense of humor through everything I have been through. Running these half marathons for people I know are affected by these diseases is more than I could ever do for them. Bringing awareness to these silent diseases will go along way.  I am praying that this week of fundraising will be successful beyond words and God will truly open the hearts of people to hear about why I am running. http://www.active.com/donate/konaRMD14/RachelB

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

 

Living with Crohn’s disease: ‘Today I will fight again’

“Today I will fight again. This disease will not own me or define me.”

These are the words I like to begin each day with, stating my intent out loud. Somehow it seems if I actually hear it, it’s easier to live it and believe it.

I have Crohn’s disease, for which there is no cure — a disease that requires a daily personal battle with things most of us prefer not to discuss with others. And for those who must deal with it, one thing is certain. It’s horrible, it’s overwhelming, and it’s humiliating.

The humiliation factor is a major reason so many suffer in silence — the evidence of the disease and the treatments are things you just don’t tell others about.

So you find yourself facing the challenges alone — the pain that literally doubles you over without warning: nausea, life-threatening bowel obstructions, incontinence, dehydration, intravenous feeding, fatigue and depression.

There is also the ever-present threat of surgery, ostomies and permanent damage to my body. There are long days without any food or water, followed by multiple days of clear liquids only.

Doctors: A new era in Crohn’s disease

Each person suffering from the disease will have their own private hell made up of variations of these components, but all will share the guarantee of loss of normal life, and the knowledge that there is no cure. During my worst times it’s been so tough that, exhausted from battling the pain, frustration and fear, I’ve cried myself to sleep on the bathroom floor.

There are many, many drugs and some forms of chemotherapy treatments that may bring about remission in Crohn’s cases but no guarantees.

And even with remission, the fear and questions linger — will it come back? Every healthy day is a blessing that carries a black cloud on the horizon.

There is relief as you realize you have a reprieve from the disease but a lingering sense of anxiety as you contemplate the “what if” that hangs just above your head, depriving you of real peace. It’s a daily struggle to keep the fear and uncertainty at bay and enjoy the moments that feel “normal.”

So I will focus just on today.

Teen diagnoses her Crohn’s disease in science class

I rise early so I can exercise — exercise helps battle the fatigue that, because of an inability to absorb nutrition from food, is the out-of-control demon affecting each day.

I dress for work, pack my small meals and snacks from the very short list of things that I can easily digest. Others will see the confinements of my diet as depressing, but for me they are delicacies that are far preferable to the too-often-required clear liquid diet. The freedom to consume real food, and to do so by mouth instead of through a tube, is a gift I treasure at each meal, and that I never take for granted.

Saying blessings before my meals has taken on a new meaning as I give thanks and pray that some nourishment will be retained as my food speeds through my system. This is important to prevent dehydration and/or artificial feeding.

Next, I fill my pill divider with the 13 doses of six medications I will take that day, almost hourly. Four times a month, I’ll give myself a scheduled injection of vitamin B12. Monthly injections from a caregiver are part of the drill twice a month, but if today is not one of those days, I’m good to go.

There will be no spontaneity to my day. A sudden, last-minute invitation to lunch will be met with “I’d love to, but I already have plans,” a small white lie that keeps me from having to explain. An invite to dinner, drinks, a movie or shopping will be met with a similar excuse.

Trying not to appear anti-social while repeatedly declining all invitations has resulted in a neat little list of interchangeable excuses. Even a meeting will require advance notice and preparation if it takes place around a meal. Menus must be reviewed in advance, and medication dosages slightly altered.

And more often than not, even with all this preparation it will just turn out to be “a bad day” and a last-minute cancellation will be unavoidable. Occasionally this happens around events that are really important to me, such as a wedding or a family member’s funeral.

Missing these events brings frustration, anger and eventually leaves me in tears. But acceptance will finally come as I make peace with what I know can’t be changed.

So most days, it’s easier to just give in and have no plans. I can replace the anxiety of “what happens if” with the comfort and security of home, where my safe foods, medicine, supplies and a comfortable resting place all reside. I need the downtime and the extra rest, because tomorrow I’ll do it all again.

My battle closely resembles the battle fought by those with colon cancer. Suffering from Crohn’s disease can mean debilitating pain, fistula surgery and diarrhea that can be so severe it can bring on dehydration.

Like colon cancer, remission is possible, but recurrence is probable. Like colon cancer, a variety of medications and treatments can help with the effects, but they are strong medications that bring their own set of problems and risks.

While Crohn’s disease itself is not terminal, the complications often result in death. Keeping it under control requires a real commitment to fight and a resolve to sustain that commitment every day. The motivation to fight is the strong desire to not suffer, and deviation often results in serious illness. Each surgery or flare-up leaves me with a little bigger battle to face, so I keep fighting.

And yet I do feel lucky — lucky to be alive and grateful to be in the midst of a season of fewer struggles. I am blessed, and I truly understand that in the big scheme of things this struggle is but a moment.

And in this season of reprieve. I carry the cold knowledge that there are more than 1 million other people suffering like me. So few people understand this disease, yet it’s part of the lives of so many people all around them. I hope to help change that.

I tell my story only to help bring a little attention to what life is like for those who battle Crohn’s — because sharing equals attention, and attention equals awareness.

And awareness builds hope that something can be done — maybe not in my lifetime, but perhaps in my children’s. That’s important because the probability of my children being diagnosed increased the day I was diagnosed.

So today, I share. And today I will fight again, with every intention of winning.

Crohn’s diagnosis means lifelong battle.

Written by Debbi Wynn

August 16, 2012

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/07/health/crohns-personal-struggle/

Help me reach my goal in finding a cure for this disease.  Donate now: http://online.ccfa.org/RachelBabcock

Screaming About a Silent Disease

Screaming About a Silent Disease

Check out this article above regarding Crohn’s Disease

Today marks an important day. IBD awareness day! Today many people will post their story to help others hear our voice, not as a cry but as a bull horn, shouting, “I will keep fighting no matter what”
I have been battling Crohn’s Disease since 2007. The doctors misdiagnosed me for a year until August 2008 while in the ER I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.  4 months later in December, I went in for an emergency bowel resection (removed 1ft of my small intestine).  Since being diagnosed I have realized that everyday is a new day. Good or bad a new day.
I am a fur baby lover, athlete, sister, daughter, friend, outdoor loving gal, and I have Crohn’s, it does not have me.
Some of the greatest people I know have IBD and they call me friend. This is just one of the reasons I am running 2 half marathons this year and fundraising for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. 

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.