Crohn’s disease isn’t something you can just ignore. You can’t push it aside and think that you’ll get better the next day. Crohn’s is something that you must face, no matter who you are or where you are in life.

For these four individuals, Crohn’s has become part of their life. It’s something they must face each and every day. Even so, it hasn’t taken their identity. It hasn’t defined who they are or what they will become. No, this is what living with Crohn’s is like.

Austin Grant, 20 - Diagnosed 2013

“I believe the misconception about Crohn’s is that we have extreme stomach problems, and we have to go to the bathroom every five seconds, and our lives are so overwhelmed by it, when it’s really not that big of an issue. It depends on what kind of mentality you have about life and how positive you can be, and how much more enthusiastic you can be about your life, and how great it can be that it wouldn’t really set you back if you just kept pushing forward.”

Pamm Baker, 65 - Diagnosed 2005

“I think the most challenging for me is just being able to walk by a restaurant and something would smell very good to someone else, but for me it’s like okay, no thank you. Just sometimes smelling food can make me sick or I know if I eat it, I will be sick. So you just stay away from it.”

Manuel Camacho, 38 - Diagnosed 2005

“It’s not the end of the world. You can still live a normal life, mostly. You know, you do have to be careful about being close to a bathroom sometimes, especially if your condition is acting up. But you can mostly live a normal life, if you get on the right medication.Or if you have, you can watch your diet.”

Alexander Hero, 40 - Diagnosed 2000

“Crohn’s has taught me that I’m a very sensitive person, not just in terms of biologically or physically, but also emotionally, and that the psycho-bio connection is extremely strong.So that if your mood is kind of down, it can kind of effect how things are going physically. It’s just this crazy symbiosis that everyone talks about. But until you maybe have a chronic disease or something like that, you start to really appreciate that everything is sort of a ying-yang.”