Crohn's Collage: Taylor's Riley Story

April 21, 2015
Topics: Riley Kid Story

taylor blog image
Taylor's collage artwork

Throughout the seven years that I have been battling Crohn’s disease, many people have asked me how Crohn’s has impacted my life. The first thing that I always say is Crohn’s has made me stronger. I had to learn how to handle constant pain at a very young age. I have also learned how to be extremely patient. When medications didn’t work, I just kept my head held high and never gave up hope.

I was in recently at Riley Hospital for 12 days for surgery, and all I could really do was watch TV and have crossword and Sudoku competitions with my mom. But then I mentioned to Child Life Specialist Amanda Banker that I was really into art, so she brought me a canvas and some magazines. I found words that described my long journey with Crohn’s, and I also chose to incorporate words that I hope will make an appearance in my life after the surgery.

Amanda is just one example of the amazing staff at Riley Hospital. They take the time to get to know you and your situation and will do anything imaginable to help you and make sure you are comfortable. Some of the nurses, like Sarah and Rachel, were like sisters to me for the few days that they were taking care of me. I got a lot of tough love after the surgery, but it was definitely needed. Another nurse, Phil, pushed me to walk, but let me do things at my own pace. Everyone was so encouraging and kept me positive. The doctors and surgeons (including my pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Jean Molleston and surgeon Dr. Fred Rescorla) allowed me to never once feel doubtful about my surgery and what was going to happen.

I love helping people. I love making people laugh and brightening up their day. And I love sharing my story to help out other people with Crohn’s, whether it’s giving them advice or just being there to listen.

My message to children, teens and even adults struggling with this relentless disease would be: never give up hope. Stay strong and never stop fighting. One day there will be a cure, but until then, we can’t let this disease have control of our lives.

Taylor James

Taylor is an 18-year-old who attended Carmel High School and recently became a Class of 2015 graduate through online schooling. She has enjoyed being a part of the Best Buddies program, and also loves drawing, watching Netflix, going to concerts and hanging out with her friends. Taylor lives with her parents and two younger sisters, Ali, 16, and Kelsie, 13. She is passionate about helping the homeless, and hopes to someday start her own non-profit organization.

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