When I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in March 2016 at the age of twenty-one, I had no idea just how much my life would change over the next two years.

Two years, many failed medications, and four surgeries later, I am now living with a permanent ileostomy after the removal of my J-Pouch in September 2017. I am a recent graduate of West Virginia University’s Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program, which I began from a hospital bed the day before my life-saving colectomy in August 2016. Although it has been a long, hard journey, I am incredibly thankful for the selfless individuals that I have met along the way and the invaluable life lessons that I have learned.

In 2017, I began chronicling my journey of having Inflammatory Bowel Disease on my blog and Instagram, “Kristen’s Chronicles.” This is where I have had the opportunity to connect with patients and their families all over the world. I am incredibly excited to join the 11 Health family and continue to help patients through these challenging and often life-changing times.

I currently live in West Virginia with my family and fur babies. I love all things outdoors! If I’m not kayaking on the lake, you will find me sitting outside, writing, or drawing.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is more than a physical battle; it is a mental and emotion battle too. I am incredibly passionate about helping patients through every aspect of their recovery. No matter how dark it may get, the light always find its way.