Hi! My name is Laurel and I am a 20-year-old college student, majoring in Human Biology. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2012 and have been on biologic infusions ever since. One thing many people don't know about me is I absolutely love insects and am minoring in entomology!

One of the greatest struggles living with a chronic illness is feeling like it holds me back from opportunities in life. I have to really plan my life around my illness and things like access to my medication. Staying on my infusion schedule is important, and it sometimes interferes with important events and travel or deciding which activities I can partake in with friends. Because of that I don't try as many new things as I'd like, and it can be hard to connect with peers.

I have learned to overcome this obstacle by mapping out my schedule in school and adjusting my calendar to account for infusion dates. I have had to educate my professors and friends on my condition and make sure they know what warning signs look like in the event I should have a flare or need medical attention. Through this effort, I've begun to experience more of life in a healthy way while managing my disease. I connect with peers better and have actually found that many people know someone with IBD or even have it themselves!

What really attracted me to PAC was the drive to help other patients not feel held back by their illnesses. I really wanted to help other patients like me not only feel like they can live life to the fullest with their disease but that there are others out there like them and we are all in this fight against IBD together! PAC has really given me a community I can relate to and peers who understand the various symptoms and treatments of IBD. My goal while being in PAC is to help patients find their voices so they can talk about Crohn’s disease, while living life to its full potential!


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