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Before being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in July, Willem was living the life no teenager would want. His mom Jennie says he was surviving, not living, and was “pretty much a shell”. Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines. He couldn’t eat because of the pain to his digestive system, and stopped hanging out with friends. Then in Grade 9, he missed most of his final semester. He was an avid lacrosse player, but he couldn’t play the game he loved.
He didn’t have the regular symptoms of Crohn’s, but thanks to specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital who ran tests and scopes and other procedures, they could make a diagnosis and start him on IV treatments of Remicade at the hospital. In a matter of days, like a miracle, he was like a whole new person!
Willem went from being a teenager who was so weak he could only enjoy the Calgary Stampede from a wheelchair, and only last a short time on the grounds, to having the freedom to spend a whole 12 hours there with his friends, on his own two feet J The hospital has not only saved his life, but given him his life back!
Willem returns to the hospital for IV treatments of Remicade every two months – a hospital his family says gives out miracles! Thanks to it and the amazing specialists who work there, Willem has his life back!