18 SURGERIES IS NOT A CURE
During Ben's first year of medical school, he began to experience symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Abdominal pain, bleeding, diarrhea, alarming weight loss, more. He was in & out of the hospital for much of the spring, tried many meds to no avail, then started Remicaid (a biologic, IV medication). Remicaid seemed to help for a while, but he quickly needed it in higher doses and more frequently. As Remicaid failed, we were faced with only one option: remove his colon to stop his body's relentless attack on itself. There were no other medications available. In October 2010, Ben had the first surgery to remove his colon and form his small intestine into a J-pouch, leaving him with an ileostomy. He later had a second surgery to reattach his intestines, and quickly developed complications that required surgical repair. Surgeries 3, 4 then 5 to revert back to the ileostomy. Then came attempt #2, and more complications, and more surgeries. Then takedown attempt #3, more complications, more surgeries, followed by more complications, and more surgeries.
18 SURGERIES IS NOT A CURE.
Ben's diagnosis is up for debate (is it Crohn's? UC? Indeterminate colitis?), but we've enjoyed his remission for the last few years. Yet, I worry that the IBD monster still lurks in his body, and it could come back at any time to wreak havoc. Is the joint pain he is experiencing just joint pain, or is it Crohn's arthropathy? Is the eye irritation just eye irritation, or is it iritis caused by inflammation? Is he absorbing vitamins and minerals as he should be? What if our kids develop Crohn's or ulcerative colitis? What if my stepmom, Julie, needs another medication option before there's one available to her? What if my friends who have no more medication options, fail their LAST OPTION? What if more surgeries, disability, and other limitations aren't enough? These diseases CAN BE FATAL. Crohn's & colitis can affect every bodily system--they are so much more than bathroom diseases, although most patients have GI symptoms and are reluctant to talk about how that affects them, because it's incredibly embarrassing.
This is why I commit to the running and the fundraising--every dollar, every mile means something. We are proud to support the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation with our time and our money because we know the foundation takes fiscal responsibility VERY seriously. Your dollar goes further with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation than virtually any other charity. Your donations support educational programs for patients, caregivers, medical staff; research on all treatment options as well as better understanding (and one day preventing) these diseases, Camp Oasis for kids and teens with IBD, and more. Your donation makes a difference for my husband, my stepmom, my friends, and 1.6 million Americans (and millions more worldwide). Your donation could be the golden ticket to the cure. Thank you for your support.
About Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both major categories of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). IBD affects an estimated 1.6 million Americans. These chronic diseases tend to run in families and they affect males and females equally. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and may affect any part from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition limited to the colon, otherwise known as the large intestine.
The Mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America is: To cure and prevent Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through education and support.
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Ruth Ann Boyer
* Evereve, Inc.
Maura and Vishal Kothari
Jenni and Eric
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