Hi, my name is Hailey Deaner. I am 16 years old, I am in the 11th grade at Patuxent High School in the fall, and I have Crohn’s Disease. We think through genetics I got Crohn’s from my maternal grandfather who also has the disease. I also have other family members who have the disease as well.

Crohn’s, for most people who have never heard of it, is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that makes you feel horrible. I was diagnosed in May of 2010 and up until then, I was a normal, active 11-year old that was heavily involved in cheerleading for most of my life. I started to feel sick most of that year but was too scared to tell my parents. My mom started noticing my weight loss around February when we were at a cheerleading competition and I was just not myself. Luckily because my mom was familiar with the disease, she told my pediatrician that I was pale, losing weight and up all night sick to my stomach. It didn’t take long for them to figure out what was going on. Since then, I have been on several medications, hospitalized four times and had major surgery on December 23, 2013, and spent Christmas at Children’s hospital. I missed the entire first marking period of 10th grade and had a nurse and teachers that came to my home. Luckily with a little perseverance, I made it on the honor roll every marking period this year.

​I have never been in “remission” since being diagnosed but I am not currently having an active “flare”. I have to watch what I eat and when I eat as I have many triggers that can cause a reaction. I take several medications daily and I can’t remember a day in a very long time that I just felt good. After being hospitalized during cheerleading season in ninth grade, I wasn’t able to return to it. I miss it. I miss being able to be a normal kid all the time. I am doing my best and for now, I have more good days than bad. My hope is that we can raise money for awareness number one, cause so many parents may not know what to look for or what their kid has; number two, to raise money for research so we can find a cure or even better treatments and surgeries; and three, to raise money to help families and children in need that cannot obtain the care they need. I have been blessed to have great doctors and nurses at Children’s hospital and all sick kids deserve that. My personal #1 GOAL is to Kick Crohn’s BUTT!!!!!