Our honored hero this season is Isabelle Linguiti. She has battled Crohn's Disease for a few years, and will serve as an inspiration for Team Philly while we are training and fundraising for our races. Below is her story, in her own words:
"It started with fatigue, pain, nausea, heartburn, weight loss, joint pain and fevers. The first symptoms came in January of 2010. After about six months of these symptoms, many doctor’s visits, bloodwork, tests, scopes, etc. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease on June 29, 2010.
I started medicine, and within a few weeks I was feeling somewhat better. Within a few months I had gained back most of the weight, and felt more energetic. By the time I started school in September, I was in remission. I stayed in remission for a few months, using Pentasa and diet. But then my symptoms returned, and bloodwork the week before Thanksgiving confirmed that I was out of remission. I went on steroids, but was weaned off too quickly, and my symptoms returned. I have missed over 30 days of school this year already, and I am on a medical leave of absence from school.
So far I have tried various diets, Pentasa, antibiotics, probiotics, supplements, steroids, and enteral nutrition. At the moment I am still taking 25 pills a day, and not yet in remission. I am on Pentasa and steroids (which I will start weaning off of in three weeks) and I am using an NG tube for 80% of my nutrition.
You can check out my CaringBridge page : http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/isabellelinguiti if you want more information. It is a blog that I started to keep my friends and family up-to-date about my health.
I go to Germantown Friends School and I am in 10th Grade. I volunteer at a children’s hospital, play soccer and softball, and I am very excited to go on tour to Puerto Rico with my school’s choir this spring. When I grow up, I want to be a doctor. I am really looking forward to going to Camp Oasis this summer!
I am really looking forward to being part of Team Challenge for the second consecutive season. I urge you to join Team Challenge for a great time, and a way to help end the suffering of many people with IBD. I am so encouraged by all of the wonderful people who are fighting for a cure!"