By Anna Crabtree
My son’s journey began December 8, 2015, when we heard the words, “Your son has Crohn’s disease.” Our world was shattered. We had three other healthy children and our then 7-year-old Cam was ulcerated from his mouth to his anus. We looked at the images of his endoscopy and colonoscopy and absolutely fell apart.
We learned that Crohn’s is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract, resulting in diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and abdominal pain. Even more worrying, we found out that children with Crohn’s can experience a lack of growth, malnutrition, delayed puberty, and bone demineralization.
After the initial shock of Cam’s diagnosis, I did what any momma bear would do. I read and researched until one day I realized that I was not going to find all the answers. I just had to do what my gut told me. So, I entrusted the top doctors in the country to treat my frail 40-pound little boy.
With treatment of immunosuppressant drugs and dietary changes, Cam turned around quickly. Kids can just bounce back so fast, I thought. Then, in August 2018, Crohn’s decided that it would manifest outside his GI tract and started attacking him from the inside out. Cam is one of very few people to have this happen. It caused large, painful lesions known as granulomas on his scalp, skin, eyes, hands, body, and leg.
Crohn’s even caused him to develop a very rare autoinflammatory disease called chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), which is inflammation of the bone that causes pain and swelling along with slow growth and bone deformities. Only one in a million people have this disease!
Even though Crohn’s and CRMO sounds awful, you wouldn’t know it with this warrior! “Cam Conquering Crohn’s” is what we named his Facebook and Instagram pages. It is there that we tell his inspiring story. No matter what Cam goes through, he picks himself up, puts a smile on his face, and keeps going. He will talk your ear off with his funny stories and jokes on a daily basis!
We couldn’t thank Cam’s wonderful doctors enough for figuring out his protocol and getting him on track. He is currently a healthy, thriving, growing 15-year-old golfer! Every day we thank God that he is here with us. It is not lost on us that he is lucky. Yes, I said, “lucky” because many people have it so much worse.
Anna Crabtree lives in Fulshear, Texas, with her family where she is a Marketing and Customer Relationship Manager in the construction industry. In her free time she enjoys interior design and researching autoimmune diseases. She recommends the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation for more information about Crohn’s disease.
Thank you, Anna, for sharing yours and Cam’s story with our readers.
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