This week is IBD awareness week. I have Crohn's disease and I am just 1 of 1.6 million people in America who have this debilitating illness that will not simply disappear like IBS or other gut issues do. IBD is chronic.
When I was 14 years old, my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's disease with signs of Colitis. For the last 13 years that I have been through various procedures, medications, and treatment plans. My disease has caused various side effects and complications.
Having a chronic illness has taught me so much about myself and about life in general. It is helped me become a stronger, more compassionate, and determined person. I want others to live happy lives despite having a chronic illness and choose to overcome their trials and struggles.
For the last 10 years I have wanted to pay it forward to the people in my Crohn's-Colitis community. I didn't know how and I wasn't sure what I could possibly do to help others who are suffering like me. After researching I found the Crohn's Colitis Foundation of America. I saw that they offered different ways to give back and to get support. I jumped in and started doing what I could to get Support and give Support back.
Since then I have raised money for their "Take Steps" walk, volunteered for a week at the CCFA Camp Oasis for kids with Crohn's and Colitis, for the CCFA Team Challenge half marathon, and more.
My favorite part of raising awareness has been the AMAZING people I have met in the process. There are SO MANY INCREDIBLE PEOPLE out there with IBD. It's been a privilege to get to know them and be inspired by them.
I don't know why I have Crohn's, and I don't know exactly what my purposes in sharing and raising awareness is. But I do know that I have it for a reason and my desire to raise awareness and share is a prompting from God. I know God doesn't give us anything we can't handle and it is my prayer that I can inspire and help others to live happier lives even though they have chronic illnesses. God wants all of his children to be happy and I hope that with raising awareness I can help a few more of his children see that that happiness awaits them.
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