This health video looks into different relief that is available to those who suffer from Crohn's disease.
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Jennifer Matthews: With every stroke, Kelly Perkowski falls deeper into her comfort zone. Kelly Perkowski: I get lost in it. I feel like I could never really finish something. Jennifer Matthews: Her comfort zone isn't always easy to get to. Kelly has had Crohn's disease for 20 years. Jennifer Matthews: You're so fatigued. You just can't even do your daily activities or you have abdominal pain. It's all-consuming, she says -- all consuming to the point where she were at the end of the line. There were no other therapies to try. Nothing was working. Jennifer Matthews: Then she met Brian Dieckgraefe. He offered Perkowski a new treatment. Dr. Brian Dieckgraefe: It's polar opposite to what other drugs are doing. Jennifer Matthews: Instead of suppressing the immune system, this drug, dubbed GM-CSF, which stands for granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, also known as Leukine, stimulates it. Dr. Brian Dieckgraefe: At first blush, this looks like we're pouring oil on the fire. Jennifer Matthews: However, the drug keeps the disease in check for many patients. Eighty percent of people had a reduction in symptoms. Dr. Brian Dieckgraefe: We also saw 53 percent of the individuals we treated go into complete remission. Jennifer Matthews: Kelly was one of them. Kelly Perkowski: All of a sudden, I would realize, 'Wow, it's another good day. Hey, I'm feeling good today. I haven't gone to the bathroom 10 times,' she says. Jennifer Matthews: The downside? Since this phase of the study ended, she can no longer get the drug. Kelly Perkowski: I haven't had it for, I guess, a year and a half since the study was over, and I've been sick ever since then. Jennifer Matthews: Kelly hopes the drug will soon be available. Kelly Perkowski: I was thoroughly enjoying life. So I'm anxious to get that back again. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.
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