Welcome to Bethany's CaringBridge website. We are using it as a central place to keep family and friends updated as Bethany continues her healing journey. We appreciate your prayers, support and words of hope and encouragement more than words can express!
Bethany was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in January of 2002 - just before her 9th birthday. She was suffering with symptoms for 18 months or longer prior to her diagnosis.
Care for her disease has taken place first at Covenant Saginaw and has included University of Chicago - Comer Children's Hospital; Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Pediatric GI, Mayo Clinic, St. Mary's of Saginaw and University of Michigan, Adult GI.
She has taken almost every med available for Crohn's including Remicade, Humira, Stelara and of course, all of the steroids. They all helped stem the progression of her disease for various periods of time - but none of them stopped the disease progression. This led to Bethany's first major surgery at 18 for removal of her rectum, anus and a portion of her colon (large intestine). This resulted in her first ostomy, known as a colostomy. As her disease continued to progress, she had several more surgeries to resection her colon and then, finally, no more healthy colon was left, so she received an ileostomy, which is using only her small intestine to make her stoma.
Continued disease progression led to more resections and different placements of her stoma. During the past few years she has also developed other auto-immune disorders and health conditions that have caused her great pain and suffering.
The cumulative toll on her ability to complete her college studies and enter the workplace was too much for her and she sought medical disability to be able to live as an independent adult. Her first attempt was denied, but on appeal she was granted partial disability with the hope that if her health improved, she could work part-time and have earnings to supplement her disability.
Unfortunately, that has not been able to happen as the 2020 and 2021 have seen her get progressively more ill and now (March 2021) she is once again hospitalized and facing some of the biggest challenges of her life.