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Your Health: Battling Crohn's Disease
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When 12-year-old Ilana Svartz heads to the fridge, it’s not always to sneak a snack, but rather to grab medication that helps her fight Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn's attacks the digestive tract and causes stomach pain and diarrhea. It has been a ten-year battle for Ilana, and she knows Crohn's can take various shapes for different people.
“Some people take a lot of medicine. Some people don’t take as many,” she said. “Some people are on diets, some people have had surgery.”
What keeps Ilana out of the hospital is a special diet of lots of liquids and fresh fruit.
Ilana's dad keeps check of what she can and can't eat, and he does plenty of his homework. He keeps up with the latest Crohn's research via family and friends.
“When other coworkers or friends run across articles, they start streaming them my way," Gerard Svartz said. "We find potential treatments.”
Ilana and her dad also take part in events to raise money for Crohn's. He says every step puts Crohn's in the spotlight, and his goal is to keep it there.
“With that comes the grants and the donations,” Gerard said. “To find better treatments, and ultimately, a cure.”
In the meantime, Ilana enjoys day-to-day stuff like acting in plays.
“I’ve done the Wizard of Oz, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” she said.
There are plenty of runners hitting the pavement for a cure for Crohn’s. Click here for more information.