Stories about: IBD

Faces of IBD: Celebrating our patients and their caregivers

Nurse practitioner Caitlin Dolan with the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Boston Children's Hospital.
IBD nurse practitioner Caitlin Dolan educating her patient Jenna, 11

Some say it takes a village to raise a child. When it comes to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), our patients and their families depend on a “village” of caregivers — gastroenterologists, nurses, dietitians, social workers and more — to carry them through their journey.

In honor of World IBD Day, May 19, we are celebrating the patients who inspire us and the dedicated Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center team that diagnose, educate and treat nearly 1,500 patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis each year.

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

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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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“I’m the face behind the phone.”

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(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

 

Nikiay Kelly

Gastroenterology Scheduler, Care Team Member

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I answer frequently-asked questions using the live Web-chat feature, and I answer questions and schedule appointments by phone. I enjoy helping patients, especially when I see the impact on patient care.

I recently received a call from a new patient who wanted to see a doctor immediately. He was experiencing some stomach upset and was questioning whether he had IBD (inflammatory bowel disease.)

I was able to contact a doctor and quickly coordinate a consultation for a time that worked best for the patient. I felt really good at the end of the call because I got him the appointment and the care he needed.

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care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.

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