By McKenna Plant, as told to Barbara Brody

I started having Crohn’s disease symptoms when I was 15 and was formally diagnosed about a year later. In a way, I was lucky: Many people wait years before getting the right diagnosis, but I got a jump-start because my father has ulcerative colitis, another form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He rarely talked about it when I was younger — I don’t think I even heard the words “ulcerative colitis” or “inflammatory bowel disease” until I started having symptoms myself, but once I did, he opened up and became my advocate.

In the…


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