Campaigns and awareness I've Got Guts Barry I've Got Guts: Living with Crohn's Barry’s Story: Yo, my name’s Baz! I’m 32 years old and from Bournemouth. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2012 and to say that my life has changed since would be a mighty understatement; it’s almost unrecognizable to what it used to be! Living with Crohn’s disease is a pain in the arse (pun intended) as it effects almost everything I do and is a major factor in every decision I make. Although I’m lucky enough so far, to have escaped any major surgery and to have kept my bowel relatively intact, I am on heavy-duty medication to try and keep the disease at bay, with every pill bringing it’s very own gloriously unpleasant side-effect. Symptoms can be unbearable at the best of times and when the disease is at its very worst then the hospital can quickly feel like a second home! Crippling abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhoea (50x a day at its worse. You get to know your bathroom really, REALLY well!), extreme fatigue (not like just feeling tired; I mean to the extent where a trip to the shower can feel almost impossible), immense loss of weight (want to lose weight? Then try Crohn’s; highly recommended), nausea and vomiting, blood and mucus in stool, anaemia, arthritis, fever, strictures, fistulas, eye inflammation….the list seems endless. On a good day, I put it as feeling like I’m constantly hungover. Oh, then there’s the anxiety and depression that can quickly follow as a result of all the above. Sounds great doesn’t it? Put simply – it sucks. Big time. In addition to my personal experiences in living with Crohn’s disease, my family has been unfortunately touched by bowel cancer too. My Grandad bravely battled and beat the illness 15 years ago, but I lost my wonderful cousin Hannah to cancer last year, just 2 days before her 32nd birthday. Why I'm supporting I’ve Got Guts I’m supporting the charity’s very awesome “I’ve got Guts” campaign because it perfectly sums up the courage that sufferers show every day in combating these illnesses. Those that live with life-long conditions that affect their day to day lives are the bravest, most resilient people you will ever know. B&CR spreads awareness of my condition and others like it, providing much needed support and advice where it is most needed, while funding vital research that would otherwise go unfunded, so it’s a no-brainer! I remember when I was discharged from hospital following my first lengthy stay and I was handed a 2-page booklet briefly summarizing what Crohn’s disease was and roughly what that meant! Not good enough! When you have just been diagnosed with an incurable life-long condition you simply need much, much more help! B&CR offered me what the hospital and their doctors didn’t and I’ll be forever grateful for that. Keep on doing what you’re doing guys!