This is Josh's Crohn's Disease journey...
His health journey started at 12 years old when he was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.
The symptoms you can get with Crohn's vary widely but Josh experiences pain everyday, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, dehydration, fever, and malnutrition. There is no cure at this point in time.
His disease started mildly enough. We originally went to his pediatrician thinking he had a bad stomach bug or the flu. Once they learned it was Crohns, they started him on oral medication (up to 24 pills per day). Eventually it wasn't enough to control it so he was switched to immunosuppressants. The first caused the beginning stages of liver failure which thankfully reversed. The second made him vomit every single day.
After those they switched him to a medication category called "biologics." Some of these are IV infusions and others are self-injections from home. He started with Humira, then moved on to Cimzia, Remicade, Entyvio, and finally, Stelara. Sadly, he became allergic to each one over time, some immediately and others a few years later. The last two sent him into the ER with severe anaphylaxis.
He met his wife Missy in November of 2014. Shorty after, he had surgery to remove some of his small intestine in January 2015:
Since then, Josh and Missy have gotten married (June 25, 2016). They had their first boy, Oliver, in June of 2017 and their first girl, Margaret, or Maggie, in February of 2019:
His disease has been untreated for about 6 months now, as he doesn't have any medications available to him anymore. He has gotten very severe and now his only remaining option is surgery to remove the most inflamed areas which will result in a big life adjustment for him after surgery: an external colostomy bag. Recovery time will be 5-7 days in the hospital and about 6 weeks past that until he's fully functioning. The surgery is being performed at Cleveland Clinic, so travel expenses are necessary on top of medical bills...
However, they need your help to afford this surgery and all the medical bills that come with it! This disease, especially when it's severe, makes it difficult to do normal life activities like work, school, and raising children. His family is looking forward to this surgery as it will allow him to play with his kids, work a normal schedule, and have energy to become the outstanding husband and father he desires to be. Any amount you can give will be a tremendous blessing for our family! We thank each and every one of you who have walked this journey with us and supported us, both financially and emotionally!
Love, Josh and Missy's family