Regaining My Life
I didn’t believe I could do anything when I started at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU); I had already left one college because it was located in a rural area and I was too far from doctors. I had also taken a semester off to rebuild my strength. When I started at VCU I became involved with a wonderful campus ministry, but there was only one issue… they liked to eat a lot. This made me nervous at first because I was on a very restricted diet, but then I met the priest and (lucky for me) she had a ton of food allergies. She had no issue helping make sure there was food available so that I could still enjoy myself. After being there a few months I learned of a trip they were taking to South Africa in March 2012. I really wanted to go, but was nervous to travel so far from home with all my health issues. When I met with the priest she said this would be no issue and the place we were staying could accommodate me. So off I went. I got to experience some really cool things in South Africa; I visited an orphanage, held a lion cub, and went out at night (something I often avoided due to fear of Crohn’s giving me issues). Most importantly I gained confidence in myself and suddenly the world wasn’t a place that I feared because I have an uncontrollable illness. I could do things.
In the year following my trip I have accomplished many things. I had the confidence to work at a summer camp even though it was a tough environment and I got very sick. I had the confidence to travel to Belize. I have the confidence to do things that I had stopped doing because of Crohn’s; which has included hiking, visiting the river, and going on long car trips. Most of all my self-esteem is higher I feel that even though I may always have Crohn’s, Crohn’s does not have me. I am the college student who travels, tries new things, and has a lot of fun in spite of being sick