RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Going into the hospital when you’re a second grader can shake a family to its core. But what happens when on top of that, you get diagnosed with an incurable, life-threatening disease?
That’s the story a Raleigh high school freshman is still living today, but she’s doing very well managing Crohn’s disease.
Brooke Murgitroyd went to the emergency room in Oct. 2014 with severe stomach issues, fevers, fatigue and rapid weight loss. Days later she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, that along with ulcerative colitis, are inflammatory bowel diseases that attack the digestive system.
They can be incredibly painful diseases and even life-threatening, but thanks to modern medical advancements, they can also be managed successfully.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Carolinas Chapter is one group that is looking for a cure and helping patients manage their symptoms. They are also the CBS 17 3° Guarantee charity for October 2021.
Nearly three million Americans, and approximately 150,000 North Carolinians, are living with Crohn’s and colitis.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation invested more than $30 million in research in 2020 with a lot of that research happening in North Carolina. Scientists still aren’t exactly sure what causes the disease, but they have been able to really help improve disease management.
Brooke, and her mom Beth, are both benefactors of that research and both have become experts on managing Brooke’s disease.
She is able to lead a fairly normal life as a high school freshman. She takes two self-administered shots per month. She also has to be very careful of what she eats as to not have a flare-up that would lead to very uncomfortable and painful digestive issues.
In addition to research, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation helps educate patients and caregivers, makes sure all members of the community have access to critical resources and they even offer a camp to youth across the country to enrich the lives of kids with inflammatory bowel disease.
To learn more about how you can help or how you can get help, visit the Crohn’s and Colitis website.