Marisa was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 13 and had absolutely no idea how much her world was about to be turned upside down. After undergoing many major abdominal surgeries including a total colectomy, Jpouch, Kock pouch (K-pouch,) and missing many semesters of high school and college, Marisa now lives with a permanent ileostomy.
Until the age of 25, the only people who knew what she was going through was her parents, brother and grandparents. After all, what teenage/college-aged girl wants to talk about what is going on with her digestive tract?!
…until she connected with other people who suffered from Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis and finally realized she was not alone.
After attending a couple of events where she met other people who were dealing with similar issues and had common experiences, she gained the confidence to share who she really was with the world. She began writing her blog (JournalingIBD.org).
Marisa has become a very active member of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease community and is continuing to do what she always told her parents which is that the only way being sick made ANY sense was if she turned all the terribleness she had gone through and continues to deal with into helping others who are struggling with these diseases.