Community Advocates

In order to stay up to date on latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to manage inflammatory bowel disease every day, InflammatoryBowelDisease.net brings you frequent articles, points of view and advice from leading patient advocates and experts.

Current advocates

Amanda Osowski

Amanda is a Clinical Enrollment Specialist, working in patient recruitment for clinical trials across the country. Amanda was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in January 2016, after suffering for more than 6 years with disease-related symptoms. Through the years, Amanda has endured numerous hospitalizations, countless medications and flare-ups, and also now copes with a handful of related conditions. Read more.

Amber Elder (Colitis Ninja)

Amber became a ninja in 2011 when she began her battle with ulcerative colitis. In 2013, her colon declared an all out war against her. She began documenting the adventures of the Colitis Ninja and her battle with Toxic Megacolon and his ilk in March of 2014. After a year-long flare in April of 2014, Amber destroyed her evil, rebellious colon and has been sporting a happy, healthy j-pouch since July of 2014. Read more.

Britten Creasor

Britten Creasor, 27, has been a Crohn’s warrior since 2012 when she was diagnosed with a severe form of Crohn’s Disease, which presented itself as a perianal abscess. After being diagnosed with Crohn’s, she underwent close to 30 surgeries between 2012-2015 to drain the stubborn abscess that wouldn’t heal. Read more.

Brooke Abbott

In 2008, Brooke was diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis. Though it was a mild case at diagnosis, the disease rapidly advanced over a period of 4 years. In April 2012, Brooke was given a total colectomy after spending weeks in the hospital fighting a losing battle with her diseased colon. Read more.

Courtney Maiorino

Growing up, Courtney was like most other young adults: healthy, happy and carefree. Things began to change during her early college years when she started dealing with questionable abdominal symptoms. In January 2012, she was finally given an answer and a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. Read more.

Grady Stewart

In late 2015, during my freshman year at LSU, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of 18. My diagnosis changed my life significantly. Instead of partying at college ragers, I raged at being sick under the covers of my bed. My life became a nightmarish roller coaster of pills, pain, and pressure. Read more.

Jaime Weinstein

Jaime Weinstein is a writer, marketing consultant, and patient advocate. She has been living with Crohn’s disease since her early teens where she was misdiagnosed with severe IBS. Through her blog, Pretty Rotten Guts, Twitter account @jaimeeditor and new YouTube channel, CROHNicleS, Jaime uses social media as a way to share her Crohn’s journey and advocacy work with fellow IBD patient advocates. She also volunteers to help influence patient-focused policy, whenever possible. Read more.

Jenna Farmer

Jenna Farmer was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2012, after suffering from symptoms for 12 years. She is passionate about raising awareness of the disease and the realities of life with it. Read more.

Kelly Crabb

Kelly was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 3 days after her 17th birthday. She’s passionate about helping others with IBD and started blogging 5 years ago as a way to give back to this community. Read more.

Krystal Miller

Krystal a Crohnie, a mama of 2 babies and a mighty advocate for raising awareness and removing stigma of bowel diseases and rocking an ostomy! She likes to think of herself as somewhat stylish and has been known to take some risque selfies! Read more.

Luke Escombe

Luke is a songwriter, musician and comedian from Sydney, Australia who has been living with Crohn’s Disease for 25 years. After having his dreams of rock stardom thwarted by IBD on one too many occasions Luke decided to turn the tables on his illness and start mining it for inspiration. Read more.

Mariah Zebrowski Leach

Mariah is a writer and patient advocate who lives in Colorado with her husband and two young sons. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in the middle of law school, Mariah now uses her law degree to help people with chronic health issues. Read more.

Marisa Lauren Troy

Marisa was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 13 and had absolutely no idea how much her world was about to be turned upside down. After undergoing many major abdominal surgeries including a total colectomy, Jpouch, Kock pouch (K-pouch,) and missing many semesters of high school and college, Marisa now lives with a permanent ileostomy. Read more.

Natali Marti

Natali was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease in September 2008, right after her 18th birthday. With the incredible support of her family, she started fighting a battle she had no idea how to win. Read more.

Natalie Hayden

Natalie (Sparacio) Hayden is a former TV news anchor with Crohn’s living in St. Louis. Her mission in life is to be an advocate for those battling inflammatory bowel disease and to show that a chronic illness doesn’t have to dull your sparkle. Read more.

Paul Richman

Paul is an elementary school teacher that battles through the everyday struggles of Crohn’s. His remarkable story of fighting to stay alive in the early stages of the disease is unique. Because of his long stay in the hospital, he has developed endless friendships with nurses and doctors citywide. Read more.

Sara Ringer

Sara is a Crohn’s disease patient who describes herself as Young and Rectumless, because how many other people can say that? Actually quite a lot, which is why she founded Inflamed & Untamed in 2011. She also just thinks it’s hilarious! After the launch of her website she quickly became recognized as a key opinion leader in the IBD community. Read more.

Shawntel Bethea

Shawntel is a writer and patient advocate. Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at 17 years old, Shawntel now shares, what she calls, “stories of strength” on her website, More Spoons. Shawntel struggled for many years after her diagnosis attempting countless prescriptions, diets and treatment plans. Read more.

Stephanie Hughes

Stephanie is a writer and a mom and the voice behind The Stolen Colon. She started blogging about her experience with inflammatory bowel disease in 2012 when she was faced with having her colon removed and getting an ileostomy. Read more.

Former advocates

Maria Masington

Maria is a poet, essayist, and short story writer from Wilmington, Delaware who has Crohn’s. Her poetry has been published in The News Journal, Currents, The Red River Review, Damozel Literary Journal, The Survivor’s Review, Wanderings, The Fox Chase Review, Van Gogh’s Ear, and by the University of Colorado.  Her short story “Impresario” appeared in the anthology Someone Wicked, published in 2013 by Smart Rhino Publications. Read more.

Melissa Halas-Liang

Melissa is a nationally recognized nutrition educator and speaker, Registered Dietitian and wellness expert. Advocating for balanced nutrition at all ages and a healthy lifestyle, Melissa aims to “practice what she preaches” in her everyday life. Read more.

Contributors and moderators at InflammatoryBowelDisease.net are compensated for their contributions to the InflammatoryBowelDisease.net community. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us at [email protected]