Alison Feller is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She is also a runner, and a Crohn's disease advocate. Ali talks about her first experience showing symptoms of Crohn's disease as a child. Once these symptoms began to show, she saw a specialist and had an endoscopy and was then first diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
Crohn's disease is a digestive disease. It's an inflammatory bowel disease which means that there is inflammation in the patients intestines. When these symptoms are totally silent, this is called being in remission, and the patient feels completely normal. These symptoms may reappear, which is called a flare-up. When she was first diagnosed, her doctors had her take a high dose of steroids to reduce the symptoms, which worked within a week. Ali remembers going 2 years at a time without experiencing any symptoms at all, so they decided it wasn't time to begin looking for long term treatment for the disease.
When Ali was 16 years old, her dream job was to be the Editor in Chief of Dance Spirit magazine, a well-known magazine for dancers. In senior year of college, where she majored in journalism, she was able to intern for Dance Spirit, work there after graduating, and eventually made her way up to being the Editor in Chief! And then she got sick again.
The flare-ups began getting longer and the medication she was taking had stopped working. Her symptoms began to grow worse and worse, including a bloody stool, high fevers, and night sweats. Unfortunately, Ali's symptoms were so serious that she had to stop running and even took a medical leave from her job.
After a long time fighting the disease, she began a clinical trial which finally reduced her symptoms, allowing Ali to start running again and having her normal life back. That's when she started documenting her life and her runs while having Crohn's disease. With her blog, Ali on the Run, Ali hopes to inspire other Crohn's disease patients to keep fighting, stay strong, and learn to live happily despite having the disease.