Stories about: Athos Bousvaros

Getting back into the swing of things: Jake’s journey with Crohn’s disease

Jake-Goodstat-Crohns-Golf

It was a cloudy, September day at the Country Club of Miami in South Florida. Jake Goodstat, a high school sophomore and varsity golfer, approached the ninth green. He walked up to his ball with putter in hand, took a deep breath and gently tapped the ball to make the putt.

He says this was the hole where he cinched second place in the 2016 South Florida Junior Golf Tournament.

“It was the greatest feeling in the world to know that I placed,” recalls Jake, a Florida teen who underwent surgery two months prior to treat his Crohn’s disease. “Before my surgery, I would register for a tournament, end up in the emergency room and be admitted to the hospital.”

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Overcoming IBD: ‘I am bigger than my Crohn’s disease.’

Camden Vassallo Crohns DiseaseLike most high school seniors, Camden Vassallo of Norwell has a very busy schedule. The 17-year-old Thayer Academy student manages a heavy academic schedule, works at the local YMCA, is a two-sport, three-season athlete and is looking ahead to college.

But like nearly 800,000 children and adults in the U.S., Camden is also managing Crohn’s disease — a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The condition causes intense stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, bloody stool and weight loss in severe cases.

Although the disease has uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms, Camden says Crohn’s hasn’t slowed him down or shaken his optimism.

“At first I struggled with having a disease that deals with a gross part of the body,” he says. “But Crohn’s doesn’t consume me and I don’t let it control my life.”

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Our hopes for 2016

leukemia, remissionHappy New Year from Boston Children’s Hospital! We asked some of our leaders, surgeons and doctors to share their hopes for 2016. We hope that their words bring inspiration, peace and wellness to you for the new year.

 

Fenwick_Sandra120x150In 2016, I hope — or more accurately, I know — we will work together as a team across our Boston Children’s Hospital to continue to provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art care to children in our community and across the globe, while striving toward the breakthroughs in science, innovation and care that will help us to build a brighter future for everyone.

~ Sandra L. Fenwick, CEO

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From Bahrain to Boston for very early onset IBD care

20150723_GassenIBDVEO-16[1]During a recent visit to Boston Children’s Hospital, three-year-old Gassen Boabed quietly entered the waiting room of the hospital’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center.

With Mom and big brother in tow, the tiny toddler, boasting a pretty pink headband and nail polish to match, sat at a child-sized table, picked up crayons and started coloring. She was at ease, and her surroundings were familiar.

For the past year and a half, Gassen, a native of Bahrain, a small island country east of Saudi Arabia, has been receiving treatment at Boston Children’s for a rare and debilitating condition called very early onset (VEO) inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

The condition, which affects infants and children under 5, causes severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, and it slows growth. The cause(s) of VEO-IBD remain unknown but likely include a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

“Boston Children’s has been taking very good care of Gassen and us as well,” says Gassen’s mother Manal, with the assistance of an interpreter from the hospital’s Interpreter Services Department. “The way they have been dealing with her case has been excellent.”

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