Fo­cus on cure

And fo­cus on find­ing cure for In­flam­ma­tory Bowel Dis­ease: Trin­ity Bay teen

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY DENISE PIKE

A Trin­ity South teen feels it’s time for peo­ple to move be­yond the em­bar­rass­ment of this dis­ease and turn our at­ten­tion to find­ing a cure.

Talk­ing about an in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease is not usu­ally a hot topic for any teen, but Alyssa Green of Win­ter­ton has no prob­lem talk­ing about it.

That’s be­cause the 16-year-old takes the dis­ease se­ri­ously and the fight against it per­son­ally. Her dad Barry Green has Crohn’s and Coli­tis.

“He was di­ag­nosed in 1996 and over the years has been very sick,” says Alyssa.“It’s a very painful dis­ease and can af­fect a per­son in many ways.”

Crohn’s and Coli­tis, which is classified as a type of in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease, is a dis­ease of the in­testines that may af­fect any part of the gas­troin­testi­nal tract from anus to mouth, caus­ing a wide va­ri­ety of symp­toms. It pri­mar­ily causes ab­dom­i­nal pain, di­ar­rhea (which may be bloody), vom­it­ing, or weight loss. It may also cause com­pli­ca­tions out­side of the gas­troin­testi­nal tract such as skin rashes, arthri­tis and in­flam­ma­tion of the eye.

See­ing her dad suf­fer with the dis­ease made Alyssa want to do her part to find a cure.

“I was about 2 or 3 years old when I first re­al­ized how sick he was,” says Alyssa.“I can re­mem­ber sit­ting on the win­dow ledge of the hospi­tal room, while he was in bed across from me, and think­ing that my daddy was very sick. I don’t have a lot of mem­o­ries about things when I was that young, but this is some­thing I never for­got.”

Alyssa’a aunt (Barry’s sis­ter) Linda Nay of Bri­tish Columbia also has Crohn’s and Coli­tis.

“Hav­ing a fam­ily mem­ber with an In­flam­ma­tory Bowel Dis­ease in­creases the chances for my two lit­tle broth­ers and me in get­ting it,” says Alyssa. “How­ever the dis­ease usu­ally skips a gen­er­a­tion, so I prob­a­bly won’t get it, but my chil­dren may and that would be just as bad if not worse. Hope­fully by that time a cure will be found.”

Hon­ourary Chair­woman

When Alyssa was seven she joined the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion Chap­ter of the Crohn’s and Coli­tis Foun­da­tion of Canada (CCFC). That same

“We have to move past not want­ing to talk about hav­ing chronic di­ar­rhea and hav­ing to run to the bath­room all the time, and start fo­cus­ing on find­ing a cure.” — ALYSSA GREEN, WIN­TER­TON

year she went door-to-door and raised over $200 for the foun­da­tion, $80 of which was all pen­nies.

“ I filled up some jars and buck­ets, put it all in my lit­tle wagon and hauled it to my first Heel’n’Wheel-a-thon ( Crohn’s and Coli­tis fundrais­ing event),” says Alyssa.“Af­ter that I start- ed tak­ing pledges at school and from fam­ily and friends.”

In 2001 she was named honorary chair­woman of the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion Chap­ter of the CCFC.

THEN - In 2000 seven-year-old Alyssa Green of Win­ter­ton went door-to-door and col­lected over $200 for the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion Chap­ter of the Crohn’s and Coli­tis Foun­da­tion of Canada (CCFC). The fol­low­ing year the or­ga­ni­za­tion named her their honorary chair­woman.

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