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Crohn's Disease Couldn't keep Holly from Winning at her Sport


Holly plays soccer in spite of her Crohn's disease

Dreaming is natural for kids. Every kid wants to become someone special and be admired. Yet for some of them, it remains a dream.

Holly is a footballer who is passionately in love with the sport and had dreams of representing her country at an international level. She started playing at the age of 5 and quickly excelled at the sport. It seemed there was nothing that could hold her back from achieving her goals. But destiny had other plans.

Holly started experiencing health issues at a very young age. She has a twin, and at one point she was 8 inches smaller and 20 pounds lighter than her sister. She was spending a lot of time in the bathroom, about 8-10 visits a day. Her parents became concerned.

They decided to consult Penn State Hershey Medical Centre where Holly was diagnosed with Crohn's disease (persistent inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract) at the age of 10.

Crohn's disease has no cure and would affect her health for the rest of her life. Holly's parents were really scared, not knowing what was going to happen to her.

To start with, doctors treated her with steroids, to calm the disease down. This was followed by infusions of Remicade. She received the drug infusion every 8 weeks. This was able to control the disease and allowed her to develop her soccer career. She joined the girl's soccer team at Messiah College and was thrilled when her team won the national championship for Division III girl's soccer in 2012.

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Shortly after her win, Holly came down with the flu and seemed unable to recover. She had no energy and lost 20 pounds.

Doctors performed a colonoscopy and were shocked to see how sick her colon was. The Remicade was no longer working.

In a last-ditch effort to avoid surgery to remove her colon, the doctors put Holly on Humira, a medication Holly could inject into her thigh every two weeks.

In a short period of time, Holly started getting her energy back and regaining her weight. The soreness in her body receded. It felt like a miracle.  

Rather than feel sorry for herself, Holly realizes that so many kids are much sicker than she is. She is thankful every day that she can continue playing her sport and making the most of her time.

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