My name is Lexa, and I'm 17 years old. I'm currently in high school and I love to travel. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (pancolitis) in April this past year.

Living with IBD has made it hard to get school work done and I missed my high school prom because I was in the hospital. It was hard finding ways to manage the stress that comes with school. It affects me because I deal with school daily and it can be stressful at times, and stress affects my health.

Some things I’ve tried to help manage my stress include asking for extra help when I need it, and meeting with a GI psychologist. My psychologist helped me learn that I can handle more than I thought I could and everything I was feeling was normal. I've learned that as I'm feeling better, and have progressed in my treatment, I feel completely normal again. I know I have the tools to get through another flare should one arise.

My psychologist introduced me to the PAC and she gave me the website to ImproveCareNow. The PAC is giving me a way to connect and communicate with others who understand what I went through. I can help others feel better too, by communicating with them about what I’ve experienced and by raising awareness about IBD.


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