Meet our 2013 Team Challenge Vegas Honoree Blair!
Blair was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in July of 2010 after third grade. She was 9 years old. She had suffered from the symptoms for over a year prior to being diagnosed. Because Blair was swimming year round, her parents thought the diarrhea was a water born illness. After ruling out all of the possible illnesses with water, she still was not growing and was constantly tired and in pain. She would have to run out of the pool 3 and 4 times during swim practice to use the bathroom and was getting in trouble at school for repeatedly asking to use the bathroom. It was almost a relief to know that there was a cause for everything when she got her diagnosis. As fates would have it, the daughter of Dr. Jackson, who diagnosed Blair, was the person who taught Blair to swim and had been one of her coaches at the Salt Lake Swim and Tennis club.
Blair is a very active and happy child. She has played the piano since she was five and loves music. She has been on the swim team since she was 6 and the dive team for the past four years. Blair is a good student and enjoys school. She is a good friend to others and looks out for the underdog. This disease has made her even more mindful of those who are suffering inside, but may look ok on the outside. She likes to go boating and travel with her family and loves reading. This year, Blair will begin 7th grade at Wasatch Jr. High.
Blair is very open about her disease and will discuss it with anyone who asks. She wants her friends and those around her to understand what is happening with her insides and why she often has to run to the bathroom. She wants people to know that when she says she doesn't feel well, but looks ok, that she really is sick and it's not an excuse. In 4th grade, Blair did a presentation for her class with pictures of her colonoscopy and endoscopy because she wanted them to know what her insides were doing. She wanted to tell them that she wasn't contagious and they couldn't catch her disease. In March of 2012, Blair had been very ill for most the school year and spent a lot of time at Primary Childrens. She had a section of her small intestine and colon removed. She improved greatly after that, but every day has it’s struggles. Blair is really strong and does well, until sometimes late at night, she comes out of her room crying and says, "Why do I have to be different, I just want to be a normal kid. I don't want to take medicine every morning and night, I don't want to feel sick.”
The summer she was diagnosed, she was supposed to go to Girl Scout camp but could not because her disease was not under control. Blair was devastated. When her family heard about CCFA's Camp Oasis, they talked about it and all winter long she was hoping that she would get to go. In July of the past three years she was able to attend Camp Oasis in Colorado. She has had such a wonderful time and was able to go horseback riding, rock wall climbing, hiking and all the things that are fun about sleep over camp. When asked what was the most fun about camp and she said, "Horse riding and just being a normal kid".