Support Jason Boccard & Our Quest for a Cure
In early February 2016, my husband Jason went to see a gastroenterologist after a particularly long bout of stomach problems. Though certainly not a stranger to recurring GI issues in general through experience or Crohn’s/ulcerative colitis through family exposure, it was nonetheless a tremendous shock when Jason was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
At the time, we were less than two weeks from welcoming our second son, Lucas, and suddenly the world as we knew it was (potentially) coming to a crashing halt. Within days of Jason’s colonoscopy, we were ushered into a specialist’s office to hear about treatment options. The first doctor we saw spared no words as he explained that Jason would start infusions within two weeks and then stay on 4 hour long bimonthly infusions for the rest of his life. It would weaken his immune system, make him so susceptible to certain bacteria that he would be advised not to travel to certain areas of the country indefinitely, and even then it was not certain that this medicine would even remain a solution as his body became resistant to it over time. And men of Jason’s age were particularly prone to harsh side effects.
Jason was, for the first time in as long as I’ve known him, without words.
Shock turned to fear as we began to process everything from simple logistics – “How would Jason’s relatively new job feel about him needing to be out of the office every two months?” – to financial and family concerns – “How much would treatments cost? How would we manage two children during flare ups and hospital time?”
We would soon come to find that these would only be but the first questions of a long road of questions and concerns—a road we are still very much only in the beginning stages of navigating. As we learn more about managing Crohn’s (this varies along a wide spectrum, day-to-day and person-to-person), about the costs of Crohn’s (we opted to avoid infusions for a more moderate approach to start—but Jason’s monthly prescription is a not-so-moderate $1,000 a pop!), and about the future of those living with Crohn’s (up to 70% require surgery at some point in their lives—among other statistics), we knew there was no choice but to help further research, the development of better treatments, and the possibility of a cure for Crohn’s.
With genetics playing a factor in the likelihood of the development of this disease, we also turn our attention to our boys Logan and Lucas. While we have only once had to question whether it is necessary to test Logan (so far, we opted to avoid doing so and have no reason for serious concern), we also know that should this become a problem for one or both of them, it is absolutely critical that we are already actively doing any and everything that may result in a cure for them. And for every other adult and child who will be diagnosed with this horrible disease in the future.
So we are joining in the race for a cure by committing to fundraise and train for the Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in February 2017. And we are asking you for your help.
Finding a cure is not an impossibility. Improving treatment options is happening every day. With your help, we can continue to move research forward and help ensure a better quality of life for Jason and everyone else managing Crohn’s and Colitis.
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