Sarah Bosco, one of our honored heroes for Take Steps Sarasota 2019, struggled with Ulcerative Colitis for years before finding the right treatment plan to help her manage often debilitating symptoms. Here is her story.
“Let’s face it—this disease is not an easy one to talk about. I would never have imagined at age 20 I would be diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. To be honest, I didn’t know what UC was or how severe it would become for me. I figured there had to be a treatment for this illness. I just needed to find the right medication and get my symptoms under control.
I was afraid but hopeful. I instantly went back to the doctor with “Okay, well great, now we know what it is. How can you help me cure it?” The doctor was quick to relay that there was no cure and my hopefulness quickly faded.
Well, each year the flare-ups would get worse, more aggressive, lasted longer, and eventually left me wondering why this disease chose me. I ate healthy, worked out regularly, and maintained a positive outlook on life, yet for the majority of my 20s I was confined to the radius of the closest restroom. Every work event, family gathering, errand run, my first concern was where the closest restroom would be, since accidents became the norm, not the exception. I was trying to control this disease and its limitations but it truly had control over me.
I felt like I was in a constant state of repetition and I knew something had to change.
Shortly after a 6+ month flare up that left me hospitalized at age 25, I met with a doctor who introduced me to biologic treatments. Today I stand here in remission since September of 2015. I get bi monthly biologic treatment infusions, maintain a positive outlook on life, and go to GI doctor bi annually. I make my health my number one priority.
A cure for IBD would mean freedom from the mental and physical constraints this disease puts on ourselves and our loved ones. It means going out for a hike or walk and being present and embedded in all of life’s precious moments.
As we search for a cure, always remember that IBD doesn’t define you, we define ourselves.”
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation facilitates IBD support groups across the country. Click here to find one near you.