Hi! My name is Becca, and I’m a junior in the School of Nursing at UNC Chapel Hill. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age fifteen, and my life has been tremendously impacted by it. I hope to use all that I have learned from my own journey to change the lives of pediatric patients in my dream job as a nurse in an IBD center.

Throughout my journey with ulcerative colitis, I have struggled with accepting the imperfections of my life. It was difficult for me to cope with my diagnosis initially, and to dramatically change my lifestyle over time. I have faced the unpredictability of flares and symptoms, as well as outcomes and readjustments after surgery. Transitioning from active disease in my colon to life with an ostomy has brought additional obstacles and anxieties related to complications and my body image. My family and friends have experienced my health challenges alongside me, and have, at times, seen me at my worst. This chronic illness has been a demanding, strenuous, and stressful roller coaster for both myself and those close to me for the past five and a half years.

After struggling with active disease during my first semester of college in 2017, I opted to have a colectomy. This choice was extremely difficult but was made with the knowledge that it would benefit my quality of life in the long run. As an IBD patient, I have learned that I can't control everything in my life the way I used to be able to. Choosing to have a life-changing surgery, however, was one thing that I had complete authority over. Taking this action and accepting its consequences, allowed me to grow as an individual and discover my capabilities. Many loved ones have supported me throughout this decision and continue to help me grow my confidence as an individual with an ileostomy. I have learned to value my quality of life over my fear of an imperfect body, and this has changed my entire perspective of IBD.

The PAC has already changed my life for the better. Being surrounded by others who have experienced the same disease-related obstacles I have, has given me a space to feel accepted and comfortable within. As ImproveCareNow works toward bringing together a community of individuals with the same goals in mind, IBD care is being improved every day. The PAC pushes me to be proud of who I am and what I have been through, and makes this cause so rewarding. I am thrilled to be a part of something that is transforming Crohn's and ulcerative colitis care before my eyes. After my diagnosis five years ago, I never imagined myself being so thankful for the places that ulcerative colitis would lead me to...I look forward to sharing my story and impacting the lives of other patients as mine has been impacted.


Stay in the LOOP - sign up for updates and never miss a post! 

Read more stories from New PAC Members on LOOP >>

Built by Veracity Media on NationBuilder