Joshua McClelland - Crohn's Disease Fighter

Categories: Overcoming
Date: 23 Dec 2014 14:29

Original post: June 13, 2014

My name is Joshua McClelland. I am currently 20 years old, trying my best to live a SAYiWON’T lifestyle. I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas and I am now a student at The University of North Texas. At the age of 18 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease after becoming ill at work and losing my ability to effectively walk due to dehydration. Many things happened within the first year of being diagnosed such as spending many days and nights in a hospital, trying and finding effects of many medications, small procedures, and a surgery. I have many possibilities that may be ahead such as removal of my small intestine, infusions for medication, and many other options but all will be dealt with as best as I can and nothing will stop me. 

SAYiWON’T means not giving up, pursuing your goals, and when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I do not see my disease as a limitation or an obstacle but as a blessing from God. God has given me something that many people have not heard about and this is my opportunity to spread the word and my story to help those that are misunderstood or confused about their disease. One important piece of advice I would share with someone is NEVER GIVE UP: this disease is tough, stressful, painful, heartbreaking, and generally difficult but I will never give up. A phrase I use for myself when asked about my disease is this: I HAVE CROHN’S; CROHN’S DOESN’T HAVE ME! When diagnosed I was told I would not go back to school for some time, I would not be able to work, I would not be able to eat foods I love, I would not be able to do sports, and that I would not be able to live a normal lifestyle. I am in school, I have a job, I still maintain my regular diet and enjoy all the foods I love, I exercise and do play sports when I am able, and although my lifestyle is not normal, I do my best to live my life to the fullest and will never stop doing so. I’ve had trouble with weight, perseverance, and depression because of my condition. Through the support from everyone around me, I have been able to keep myself positive and motivated.

I want to be a police officer and investigate crimes, help families find answers to find the closure they are needing. My path may not lead me down that road and I am okay with that. As long as I can help others, one person or many people, I am happy. 

SAYiWON’T is more than just a phrase, it is a lifestyle and a great way to live. We are all told we cannot do something in our lives but that should not stop us. Fight for your lifestyle and accomplish your goals. 

If I had to describe myself in one word it would be BLESSED.

SAYiWON’T [Beat Crohn's] And I WILL! I have Crohn’s, Crohn’s doesn’t have me!

For more information on Crohn’s Disease, please visit CCFA - Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America at http://www.ccfa.org/

 

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