It all started back in 2012. February 27, 2012 to be exact. That’s the day my life changed forever. I lay on a hospital bed, freezing cold and groggy from anesthesia as my doctor told me and my husband that I have Crohn’s Disease. I didn’t know what to do. I thought first of my Aunt Kathi who had passed away more than 7 years earlier from colon cancer. She was an amazing woman who I had looked up to and admired, and she too had lived with Crohn’s disease. I kept thinking about all the times she was bent over in pain from abdominal cramps, that she rarely wore jeans and mostly stuck to dresses, skirts and loose sweatpants because they didn’t bother her stomach. I wondered if I would suffer the way she had. She was in her early fifties when she died and I was terrified my life would be cut short too. I wished she was still alive to ask all the questions that were rolling around in my mind.
My First Year with Crohn's Disease
That diagnosis was just the beginning of a long, hard journey. 2012 ended up being the most difficult year of my life, but in some ways, the most transformative, too. I had 4 surgeries in 7 months. There was a lot of pain, both physical and emotional. Crohn’s took a lot from me, and I grieved those things, but it gave me so much more. It was my wake up call. I re-evaluated my entire life and decided to quit my high stress corporate job and take the leap to become a full time entrepreneur which was one of the best decisions I ever made. I vowed that I would start taking care of myself, which meant completely revamping my diet and lifestyle. I experienced a lot of fear and uncertainty that first year. Being diagnosed with a disease that ultimately killed a loved one will do that to you. Despite that fear, I promised myself that I would cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I started keeping a gratitude journal, and it has changed my life in such a positive way, especially on days when i’m not feeling my best.
I truly love and appreciate my life so much more than I did before that fateful day in 2012. In some strange way, Crohn’s disease has given me a reason to get out of bed every morning- this business which I love and care about so much. That being said, living with Crohn’s is not easy and I would do anything to help find a cure.
I want to save others from the pain and turmoil this disease causes. I want to do it for my Aunt Kathi. Despite her struggles with Crohn’s, she was the most generous, creative person I have ever known. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and think of her. All of these reasons are why I have decided to donate a portion of the proceeds of each sale to Crohn’s & Colitis Research.
Thank you for reading a little piece of my story.
CEO, Royal MajesTees
P.S.- If you would like to learn more about Crohn’s disease, you can do so here.