Stories about: IBD

Finding my happy place: Staff member with IBD offers tips to patients

Julie, who has IBD, stands on Kodiak Island in green boots
Julie hiking Kodiak Island in Alaska [PHOTO DESIGN: PATRICK BIBBINS/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL]
When I was in high school, I started developing issues with my gut. Being in pain and taking frequent trips to the bathroom became part of my life, but it wasn’t until I started seeing bloody stool that I decided to see a doctor.

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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.

Learn about 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

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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