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I was afraid to talk about my health

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My name is Rosa. I'm 23 years old, and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was 11. I graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2016 with a degree in Medical Sociology. I'd like to go back to school at some point, and get a degree in disability studies, social work/counseling, or public health (I still haven't decided which!) I'm hoping to find a job that allows me to use my own experiences with chronic illness to help others dealing with similar issues and frustrations!


Mental health is just as important as physical health

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My name is Andi and I’m a freshman at Indiana University-Bloomington where I study Biotechnology, Chemistry, Spanish and Pre-Med. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in April of 2008. I currently take Methotrexate, which has kept me in remission for about nine years now. A fun fact about me is that I collect snow globes.

One of my greatest struggles in dealing with a chronic illness, is the mental side effects that come along with it. I can be moody or withdrawn and I find it affects those around me.


Research should benefit patients

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I'm Joshua – a 21-year-old Stanford senior. I was diagnosed with Crohn's in the 7th grade and have been, for the most part, in remission since then (I've been on Remicade pretty much continuously). Most people don't know that I can roll my stomach – I'm a pretty open book, so that's all I got!

Since I've only experienced Crohn's-related symptoms 2-3 times in my life, whenever I have any GI symptoms or problems, I always get anxious that "the Crohn's has come back." It can be mentally exhausting at times, but luckily school keeps me busy and distracted.


My journey with UC

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My name is Norma. I’m 17 and I have battled ulcerative colitis since I was 10. I was born and raised in a small town near Mexico City, but a year ago my Mom and I moved to Los Angeles, California. Currently I am a senior in high school and hopefully next year I'll be attending Harvard University (YEP, HARVARD!).

For years I spent my time looking for someone to blame, it didn't matter who. I blamed myself for not being "normal" or healthy enough. I blamed my Dad (who battles UC as well), and I blamed God. I needed a reason for why I was going through such hell; why I couldn't attend school like my friends; why I had to take so many medications; why I had to go an outrageous amount of times to the restroom. I fell into a deep depression.

The worst part is that, at the time, I didn't realize this was affecting my parents as well. They lived every single step of the way with me. I think that having IBD is awful, but having to watch your kid struggle with IBD must be even more awful.


I'm a fighter.

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My name is Chloe and I’m 18 years old. I graduated high school in June, and currently work as a cashier. I was diagnosed with UC at age 13.


Tools To Get Through A Flare

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My name is Lexa, and I'm 17 years old. I'm currently in high school and I love to travel. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (pancolitis) in April this past year.


Asking lots of questions helps me cope with UC

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My name is Mia and I’m 14. I was just diagnosed with ulcerative colitis right as my first year of high school began. One interesting fact that most people don’t know about me is that I love simply spending a day in the city!


I chose resilience

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Watching my mother in tears through the glass window panel, I felt pain. Feeling the wires stuck to my chest, I felt cold. Hearing the heart rate monitor race rapidly, I felt scared. Listening to the anesthesiologist who told me to close my eyes, I felt my worries drift away. I awoke in confusion as I was rolled back to the children’s ward of the hospital in a stretcher. The white walls, patients, and doctors blurred into one as I tried to fight off sleep, but it easily won. After hours of sleeping, I awoke to the sound of the doctor’s knocking. He took a seat at the end of my bed and stared into my eyes with a mixture of compassion and sadness. I anxiously waited for him to speak the words that would change my life forever.


Turning Ulcerative Colitis Into A Positive

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Hi, I’m Luke. I'm 16 years old and attend Providence Day in Charlotte, NC. I have ulcerative colitis. This year, I’m looking forward to traveling to China to play basketball with my school team. Dealing with chronic illness has presented me with two main obstacles: managing stress and being aware of what my body needs (like how much sleep I’m getting and how much I can eat).


Not Letting Crohn’s Take Control

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Hi, my name is Natalie and I’m a high school sophomore from Columbia, MD. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 10 years old. I’m passionate about music – I play the trumpet in my school’s marching band, as well as the piano and ukulele.


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