When I was 16-years-old, I became very sick.
I lost 40 pounds without trying.
I experienced pain every night.
I lived with lots of embarrassing personal events.
I graduated high school, went to college, graduated with a BS then a Masters, and I still was sick without any real explanation.
About 10 years ago, I got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Finally, an answer. Unfortunately, it was only a beginning. My health became much worse. I spent the last decade attempting to manage how bad things were, and I spent a lot of time trying to ignore how sick I was. It’s just not something I talked about.
About 2.5 years ago, things changed. My disease became so bad, I had to have surgery. The surgery lasted about 2.5 times longer than the great surgeon planned. Recovery was long. It was hard to be home, be a teacher to my student, be a husband, and be a dad to my daughters. How do you tell your little ones you can’t pick them up and they can’t sit in your lap?
Remarkably, since that time, I have been 100% disease free. However, Crohn’s is a chronic disease, so I will never be cured. I’m over the 20 year mark now for living with Crohn’s. My current prognosis is truly a new lease on life for me and my family, but the lack of a cure reminds me that things can change quickly. I’m told that there’s about an 80% chance that my disease will return. So, I’m waiting. I have a long scar on my abdomen to remind me physically of what I’ve gone through and that it’s not over for me.
What’s worse though? What’s worse is knowing that these digestive diseases have a genetic link. So, now I not only worry about me. Now I worry about my three daughters. That is why I believe it is critical to raise money to find a cure for Crohn’s, colitis, IBD, and all of the digestive diseases to help prevent my daughters from going through what I’ve gone through.
On the evening of May 23rd, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America will host the “Take Steps. Be Heard.” walk in Overton Park at Levitt Shell. This is the 3rd year for my family to raise money and “do the walk.” We are passionate about this, and this year our team name is “Scars & Stripes.” It’s a great experience, and it reminds me of how much bigger my role is in helping others. I need your help. I would like to invite you to make a donation to help cure the digestive diseases, including Crohn’s disease, colitis and ulcerative colitis, and IBS, that plague children and adults alike. Together, we can make a significant difference. Here’s the link to donate online:
I know that many people feel that they cannot make a substantial donation. I’m hear to say, “Every donation is substantial in my eyes.” So, if you can contribute $5.00, that’s substantial. Please don’t let the amount prevent you from helping. I would rather see 500 friends and family members contribute $5.00 each than just a couple folks contribute larger amounts. (Don’t get me wrong. If you want to blow my mind with a crazy-large amount, I’m all for it.) But I want everyone who has been affected by these diseases to feel the meaning that I do by contributing.
Finally, please don’t think that this is an exclusive club. Oh, no. If you have friends, family, or other colleagues that share our passion, I encourage you to forward them the information and invite them to donate as well. That link again is
Blessings and health to you and your family.