My name is Ann, and I will never forget the day my son's symptoms began. There were six of us. We had all gone out to enjoy a Chinese dinner. The time was the summer of 2009. Later that night, Richard who was 8 years old, started vomiting. We thought he probably was reacting to something in the restaurant food, but none of the rest of us had a problem. This was the start of Richard’s trouble with Crohn’s disease.

There are now seven in our immediate family: David (dad), Ann (me/mom), Will, Andrew, Richard, Jonathan and Sarah. While we were in the process of adopting our daughter, Sarah, we decided to try the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Yikes! It was hard to juggle such a strict diet with everything else, but it helped Richard get his health stabilized. Of course, medicine helped also.

We have since done the SCD one more time, but Richard really doesn’t like the restriction. He likes to explore and create. He enjoys theater production, making music, travelling, and being a college student. Oh, and don’t forget going to summer camps. He has attended a local IBD camp and Camp Oasis, as a camper and now as a counselor.

Fortunately, Richard’s pediatrician heard enough red flags when I brought him in a few months after the restaurant incident to order a blood test that got him a ticket to Stanford Children’s GI clinic. He has had the same GI practitioner ever since. When he graduates from college or turns 23 years old (military medical insurance) he’ll need to get an adult GI, but for now we are very happy staying with our GI pediatric IBD team.

I am involved in Stanford Children’s IBD Family Advisory Council. That is how I learned about ImproveCareNow. I attended my first ICN Community Conference in September and am inspired by everyone’s commitment to helping kids like my Richard.


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