“I am in remission, but in my mind this disease (Crohn’s) is still very new. What we need to find out is what happens in a person’s body when you get this disease: is it hereditary? [Funds] for research are so important.”
Samantha started to get sick in her last year of university. She woke up one night with a lot of stomach pain and ended up in the hospital. She was in and out of the hospital and was eventually referred to a specialist. From there, they performed a colonoscopy along with a few other tests and diagnosed Samantha with Crohn’s disease.
In May 2010, Samantha got married. “Luckily, I had a good week. Got married no problem, but a couple weeks later, the flare-ups started to get worse.” In October that same year, Samantha found herself in the hospital again—this time with a perforated bowel. After one emergency surgery, five days later, the bowel perforated again. “I went in for a second surgery. I was twenty-three at the time—a newlywed—and when I woke up, I had an ileostomy. It was pretty devastating at the time.”
A few months later, Samantha found out she was expecting. Things went well and healthy “baby Kirkland” came into the world. They discovered scar tissue on Samantha’s bowel and since the surgery to remove it, she has been living ostomy-free and her Crohn’s has been in remission thanks to her medicine.
Samantha knows firsthand how important research funding is to further advance both the treatment and understanding of Crohn’s and colitis.
“The medicine that is helping me is only six years old. Fifty years ago, twenty years ago, I might not have been here,” she says. “I am living proof that donating to HealthPartners works.”
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which are chronic digestive disorders of the small and large intestines. They are also referred to as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. More than 200,000 Canadians of all ages suffer from these disorders.
HealthPartners proudly supports Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.