I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 13. Dealing with Crohn’s was a major step in my transition to adulthood. Suddenly, my priorities changed. My thoughts transitioned from the here and now to my future. I became involved in a national advocacy group, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. As a team captain, I have led annual walks in Philadelphia and 5K runs at the Jersey Shore. It is empowering to know that I can have a positive impact on the lives of others and comforting to know that I am not alone in facing the challenges associated with this diagnosis. When I think back to the time before my diagnosis I am struck by the irony that my introduction to the world of chronic disease has changed me for the better. Being affected by a chronic health condition has given me a greater appreciation for life and has molded me into the person I am today.