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Finding the Silver Lining as a Teenage Crohn’s Patient


“Hi, my name is Alex Jofriet.” “I’m a junior at Milford High School and” “I’m a Cincinnati Children’s patient. When I was nine years old I was in fourth grade and” “I lost a ton of weight. I dropped down to
fifty pounds and I looked, I guess you” “can say, skeleton like. They diagnosed me with Crohn’s at age nine.” “You know, as a parent we want to see our kids eat, right?” “He didn’t have an appetite,” “he was starting to look thin, he was
looking pale” “and I think it happened fairly gradually.” “We thought it was” “a picky eater. We thought, c’mon you just gotta eat your vegetables.” “I guess any normal” “kid can be picky, but it was- there was
more to it.” “I was a smart kid who was shy and didn’t really want to” “talk to others and I liked being
invisible. It was crazy to have something” “that would make me not normal and maybe not make me fit in, and I was scared of” “that. I denied that I had Crohn’s from fourth grade all the way to freshmen year. In” “ninth-grade, my band director for
marching band” “told the entire marching band that I was
going into the hospital,” “and marching band is a hundred and
twenty kids” “give or take some. And” “a hundred and twenty kids who knew I had Crohn’s and knew that I was going to be in the” “hospital” “was a big deal to a kid who had only told a couple. I think back and I’m” “thankful that he told” “told every body because” “I would not have opened up, I would not be here today, and I would not be telling my” “story for others to learn from. I turned it into optimism and fighting for other” “people. And, I mean, now I’m talking about colleges and what I want to do and” “because of that, that’s what i want to do.
I want to become a pediatric” “gastroenterologist, which is the person
who treats” “Crohn’s, IB, and” “other gastro illnesses because of what I
have in my experiences.” “He talks about being” “shy and introverted as a young kid, but” “I watched him grow up. He’s a black
belt in karate, he’s an eagle scout,” “he’s now advocating for Crohn’s and part of the” “patient advisory committee. I think,” “using the things that he’s learned along
the way, providing some of that” leadership is all I could hope
for.”

6 thoughts on “Finding the Silver Lining as a Teenage Crohn’s Patient

  1. I am 18 with Crohn's i was diagnosed 3 years ago. Your story is amazing and im glad you shared it. Thank you from a fellow crohnie 🙂 You will make a great G.I. Doctor.

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