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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Emily's Journey: Using Drawing to Cope with IBD

Here is Emily's story of How she uses her drawing to help her and others Cope with IBD As told by her parents, Jim and Dianna Roberts Emily was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2012 shortly after turning 13. Despite coming face to face with many obstacles she has shown strength that even we didn’t know she had. Since Emily's diagnosis we, like so many other families and their loved ones, have experienced the ebb and flow of Crohn's. We have prayed with folded hands during hospitalization, and we have celebrated with high fives after good lab work reports. The unchanging factor during these times has been Emily's perseverance and amazing sense of humor despite the fight. After Emily was first diagnosed, we joined Take Steps in Northwest Ohio where we met so many other families that understood our challenges. For that first walk, Emily designed her own t-shirt. She had indeed “survived her first butt scope.” Emily is an honor student at Whitmer High School, a member of her high school varsity soccer team, and a member of the high school marching band. On the outside, she is seen as any other child; however she fights a battle that many cannot see. While Emily has remarkable inner strength, medications like Remicade, her “superpower infusions,” and Humira have become necessary to keep her strong. She harnesses those superpowers day in and day out. She shares her experience and feelings with Crohn's disease through her doodles that she frequently posts on a Facebook page she created called Crohn's Disease Life. She has dedicated the page to patients and their loved ones currently living with Crohn’s. In 2015, Emily became ill but forged ahead, determined to fight through the pain. Gradually the pain grew intolerable, and after tests to rule out appendicitis, we were sent into the emergency room for more tests, and she was admitted to Children’s Hospital. They believed a bacterial infection had triggered a Crohn’s flare-up. Despite her stay in the hospital, Emily continued to find her inner superpowers. We think this experience strengthened her resolve to speak out about Crohn’s and colitis. This year (September 2015) at the Northwest Ohio Take Steps walk, Emily spoke and shared her story. We will Take Steps again this year - inspired by Emily - in hopes that our steps will cast ripples. We want to continue driving awareness of these diseases and fundraising so that Emily may experience a cure. Not just Emily, but the millions of other lives affected by these diseases, deserves a cure. Until then, we all need to find our own inner superhero and continue raising awareness for IBD. To join Emily and the thousands of other Taking Steps this year, register or join a team.

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