Hi, I’m Linden. I’m 14, love Broadway music and being part of the show choir at my high school, and I have Crohn’s disease.

One of my greatest struggles has been figuring out how to talk about and explain to people what Crohn's is and how it affects me. It’s especially hard because people seem to have some super-negative connotations about Crohn’s and look at me as if I AM the disease.

One of the ways I have overcome this challenge is by finding real friends who don't think of me as the disease, but who just see it as a minor characteristic of me. Also, I have coped with having this invisible illness by just learning to be comfortable with it. I have gone to Camp Oasis (a camp run by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation) for a few years now, and it has helped me become comfortable enough to talk and joke about Crohn's freely.

The PAC attracted me because it provides an opportunity to connect with other patients from all over. I hope I can share what I’ve learned and help others become more comfortable with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis – so they don’t have to feel so isolated.


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