My name is Robbie. I’m 18 and a college student. I was 15 when diagnosed with Crohn's disease; luckily I am in remission now. An interesting fact that people don't know about me is that I captained my school's Trivia team and we went on TV for competitions!

One of the greatest struggles with my Crohn's disease was finding the best medicine to treat my illness. Often, the side effects were as bad as flares themselves. Because of this I found it hard to participate in school, extracurriculars, and social activities. I found I struggled with simple things like socialization, something others would not find difficult. 

When I’m struggling, I have to make a conscious decision to help myself feel better. These decisions include resting, giving myself time to breathe, and adjusting my diet. I try to do things that distract me, like spending time with others instead of becoming absorbed in my feelings. This often aids in bettering how I feel. 

Throughout high school I researched Crohn's and IBD, trying to better understand my condition. Because of this journey, I became connected to others with IBD and through these connections I found the PAC and ImproveCareNow. These organizations interested me greatly because I enjoy talking to people who I can empathize with in so many different ways. I know that my words and experiences can help those who are experiencing similar things.

Talking to others helped me overcome the emotional boundaries set by Crohn's, and having the support of people my age in the PAC is an amazing opportunity I am glad to have found. I hope to not only help those in the PAC and receive advice myself, but be able to develop resources for those across the ICN network. Through these organizations I hope that I can use my personal experiences and passion to help give comfort or information to those who need it, much as I did when I was first diagnosed.


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