My #GetYourBellyOut story: Courtney

Hi, my name is Courtney and I am now 20 years old. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at seven or eight years old and have been in and out of hospital ever since. I have gradually had my large bowel removed and have had around 3 or 4 stoma bags because my Crohn’s Disease kept attacking them, leaving me with open wounds around my stoma sites.

I have been on every medication imaginable, Infliximab, Methotrexate and Humira just to name a few. I’ve also been fed through a tube in my stomach and had I’ve times when I never thought I would get better. However, at the age of 12 I had my stoma bag removed – the operation was originally meant to make my stoma permanent, but they noticed that my Crohn’s Disease had settled down a lot. It was hard for my body to adjust but I was finally in remission and on infliximab… until the summer of last year, when my world was turned upside down again. I’m having a flare and my body is rejecting treatments again, but I will keep fighting because that’s what we do!

Finding the #GetYourBellyOut Facebook page has helped me so much. I haven’t always been confident in myself because of my scars and some of the effects Crohn’s Disease has had on me, but the page has helped me know that I’m not alone in this battle. Seeing everyone being proud of their scars has helped me to be proud of mine too!! I’m now proud of my scars and my body, because they show my story and my strength – I have to keep fighting this battle!! I’m just so glad I have the support from my Mam (who’s my rock) and family; they have really helped me cope and get through everything I’ve been through.