Marathon #24 – 26.2 for Michael
Michael’s story: (from his amazing mom, Leslie)
Michael turned three years old in June of 2004.
That same summer, while on a family vacation, Michael came down with something that resulted in uncontrollable diarrhea riddled with blood and mucus. Doctors were confident he picked up some kind of bacteria at the beach. The blood subsided but the diarrhea became his norm. Doctors said his digestive system is taking a little longer to develop, nothing to worry about. Of course, we worried.
September came and all of his little neighborhood friends headed off to preschool for the first time. Michael didn’t go. They didn’t let you go to preschool until you were fully potty trained and that was unlikely going to happen.
More bloody stools and a diagnosis of an unrelenting stomach virus left us scared and extremely frustrated. Finally, after nine long months and an emergency trip to the doctor’s office, a doctor we had never seen made it his mission to get answers. He took stool samples and sent us to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. There, a pediatric GI scheduled a colonoscopy. The prep was heartbreaking. The next few weeks proved worse. Miscommunication and misdiagnosis. Ulcerative colitis was what we were told. The GI confidently saying, “it could be worse, he could have Crohn’s Disease.” That was supposed to be comforting. Within the week, our pediatrician called to say she received the pathology report and that we were misinformed. My sweet little boy had Crohn’s Disease.
Life became a bit of a blur trying to get a handle on this new future we were facing.
New doctors, new meds, allergic reactions, more hospital visits, more meds, more fear, more sense of helplessness…
Life went on. Michael did make it to preschool that following September, having been made the exception to the rule…in a diaper. And it was the first time he realized there was something different about him.
Over the next several years, Michael faced more embarrassing situations, obstacles and procedures than any kid should have to, yet fewer than so many other children affected by this insidious disease. But every single one of them has contributed to make him the healthy, strong, confident and compassionate young man, friend, athlete, big brother and son that he is today. We didn’t feel it at the time, but we were blessed. I am so proud to be his mom and to share his story.
In 2010, Michael inspired me to embark on what has become my Team Challenge journey. But it is the inspiration I get from everyone I have met along the way that has made me embrace it. Coach Marc is no exception. What you do for the cause and for our spirit is immeasurable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Running 26.2 for Michael!
Marathon 24 – Recap