Courtney's Story

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My name is Courtney, My story is possibly quite similar yours and I write this praying it brings you hope for health, healing and a positive life. It all started in 2000 when I was 19 years old. Life was crazy and I ended up really struggling with digestion thinking it was stress and just too much work. Well, fast forward to being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I was in complete denial due to the fact the medication wasn’t “working” and “this couldn’t happen to me”. It turns out I had a gigantic abscess and that’s why the meds weren’t working. I needed surgery ASAP and had 15 inches of colon removed and had to have the abscess drained. My total hospital visit was 30 days, and it was so much to take in! I made friends with the nursing staff and was so thankful for my GI doctors that took such great care of me.

After the surgery I assumed things would go back to the way things “were”, but I guess that was more of a wish. It most certainly did not happen like that. My days turned into many, many visits to doctors and different medications to try and find one I didn’t react to and that worked for me. With 2 of the medications, I would blister from any sun or want to sleep for 23 hrs. a day! I couldn’t live like that, and I chose to make the decision that dealing with Crohn’s was going to be better for me that dealing with the symptoms. Boy was I wrong! I lost my insurance (something no one should ever have to deal with) and then had jobs that didn’t provide any so I couldn’t get care. Twelve years went by, and my digestion was terrible. There was a lot of emotional and potential physical trauma surrounding 2020 and the stress went right into my stomach. At least it seemed like that for me! I needed care badly and thankfully an opportunity presented itself for insurance and I was on my way. The GI doctor I partnered with is incredible and he got right down to business. I received labs and immediately realized meds were a top priority. Again, I had to go through a terrible year to get the best med match with my body, but we landed on Entyvio. This medication has changed my life and allowed me to have a relationship with food and not so much the bathroom.

In the middle of 2023, I connected with a woman who had undergone an FMT, Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and I just knew that was my next step. Everything aligned so well that within a few days, I was signed up with a research study at the University of Minnesota. The level of professionalism and passion this staff had for the study made me realize that I was in excellent hands. I received my FMT in June of 2023 and I haven’t looked back since. Life comes and goes, and I notice my symptoms correlate with that, but generally I am in great health and looking forward to having a future successful pregnancy. This has changed my life and I’m so thankful for it all!