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Crohn's Disease

 Often times when people hear "Crohn's disease" a look of confusion comes upon their face and they say "what's that (... ? )” That is exactly what I said in early May of 2004 when my doctor in Colorado walked into my hospital room and reported the diagnosis to me. Blood tests, priesthood blessings, friend and family visits, and various other unanswered questions regarding the state of my health,  could easily describe my first week in encountering this new aspect of my life. Never will I forget it... not only being in the hospital but seeing nearly every doctor known  to man (or at least I thought so), and running every test that I thought could have been done. How thankful I was during this time for my family. Their support, encouragement, optimism, prayers, and love were overwhelming. In the middle of this process I was transferred to another hospital in Denver where I met other doctors and my specialist who helps me to this very day. As I mentioned earlier, visits from friends would happen every now and then. I recall vividly when a member of my ward (congregation) down in Colorado Springs came to see me and reported to us on what happened in church that day. It was the first Sunday of the month which, in the "Mormon culture", means fast Sunday. Church members abstain from food and water for a period of time and pray to God for specific blessings and (current) needs that might exist. During this fast my ward had fasted for me and prayed that I would receive the care and attention that I needed... more specifically this member told us that a few of the children who got up in the church's main congregational meeting told everyone how they were fasting for me. They mentioned that they had prayed as a Sunday school class for my recovery and talked about the feelings they felt. All of us in the room were touched and had the overwhelming feelings that the spirit gives us. I remember the comforting feeling that came over me and the assurance that my trouble was in control by the one above.  My official diagnosis was given to me shortly later that afternoon with the news that I would be returning home that evening and the treatment plan was all set up. After the original diagnosis I began frequent visits to my doctor to dial  in my treatment plan with medications and various other remedies.  Not only did I take oral medication but I had to receive infusion treatments at a local pediatric oncology center. By having such a rather intense experience at the age of 14, I remember the grand exposure I received to life and the broadening of my life's experiences. Little did I know that such an experience was not only important for me to grow in many ways,but was a tender mercy from the lord towards my family! I thank my god for trials and opposition so I can get to know and rely on him. I know that God prepares us and helps us along the way... He fulfilled his promises that are found in his scriptures (The Bible and The Book of Mormon) to my family  that he will not give us more than we can handle (Alma 13:28 and 1 Cor. 10:13). God hears our prayers and answers them today in many ways and forms. The prayer of a child has the potential impact as that of a well educated adult. What a blessing to know that we can connect with the One on high whenever we so desire. Do we take advantage of this opportunity? Facing challenges such as this one has given me experience and enhanced my own live ; thus my life story is "unique" because I fight Crohn's disease!