Madison was diagnosed with Ulcertive Colitis in April of 2017. Ulcertive Colitis (or UC) is an autoimmune disorder similar to Crohn's disease. Upon diagnosis Madison was able to get on medicines that kept her disease in remission. She continued to live a normal teenage life in middle school, playing soccer and basketball and participating in Catholic Heart worker camp in the summer of 2017. However, as often happens with this disease her medicines lost their effectiveness and as her GI doctor put it her disease became very angry and stubborn as she experienced a serious flare in early 2018. In March 2018 she was hospitalized at UIHC Stead Family Children's Hospital in Iowa City. New medicines were tried but unfortunately were not effective. Another hospital stay a few weeks later occurred as the disease really took it's toll on Madison. She lost over 35 pounds and missed 45 days of school during the 2nd half of her 8th grade. She met with specialists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and a new medicine (Remicade) and treatment plan was started. This time we saw results and Madison gained weight back and was able to go back to school and finish out the last few weeks of 8th grade. Unfortunately success was short lived as only a few weeks later another severe flare occurred and she was hospitalized again at Mayo as the summer of 2018 started. Along with fighting UC, Madison was diagnosed with C-diff (a nasty bacteria of the bowels). She was prescribed strong antibiotics for the C-diff and like her UC it was very stubborn and other procedures had to be used to fight off the C-diff. All summer of 2018 she battled the symptoms of these 2 nasty diseases with hope she would be ready for the start of her freshman year of high school. With all the strength she had but still battling UC and not really having it under control Madison started high school but it quickly became apparent her UC disease was not going to allow her to live anything close to a normal teenage life. So on Thursday September 20th Madison had a 7 hour surgery called a J-pouch surgery to remove her Colon/Large Intestine which will remove the UC disease from her body. The surgery is a 2 part surgery with the 2nd part scheduled for early November 2018. We have received so much support throughout this time from family and friends. We know so many in the communities of Cedar Rapids and Dyersville have sent up many prayers in her name. We appreciate all these prayers and all the support so very much. We're overwhelmed and humbled by it all. We think we're on the right path but there's still a lot of progress for Madison to make and hopefully some good luck to get her back to good health.