Every week will recognize a special young athlete, both here and on social media, battling IBD and refusing to let their disease hold them back from reaching their goals both on and off the field/court.
Have an athlete that you would like to nominate for Teammate of the Week?
Send us an email with a brief story and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Nick from Cincinnati, OH!
Nominated by his mother Tina, Nick was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 4 years ago when he was just 12.
He struggled with weight loss and stunted growth, measuring just 4’11” and 72 lbs. Today, he is a 160 lb, 5’11” 16-year-old
young man who is throwing shotput for track and field at his high school, marching in the marching band
and is very active in theater. He is an inspiration to everyone he meets.
Great job, Nick! 🏃🎶🎭
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is @chaseverrastro13 from Amherst, NY!
Nominated by his mom Andrea, Chase is 13 and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was 9.
His path to his diagnosis was a long one – including endless lab tests, endoscopy and colonoscopies,
and bimonthly Humira injections. Last spring, Chase began to experience his first flare of symptoms.
Throughout this time, he continued to play basketball and endured a grueling lacrosse try-out for his school.
Chase dug his heels in, worked very hard at becoming as healthy as possible, and made the “A” team,
all while maintaining honor roll grades!
Way to go, Chase! 🏀🥍💪🏼
We are thrilled to honor Abby from Conneaut, OH!
Nominated by her coach, Abby was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when she was in 7th grade.
She receives infusions every 7 weeks and takes medicine and vitamins everyday. Abby competed
on the JV basketball team this season, and according to her coach, she works extremely hard,
pushes herself to the limits, and is a joy to be around. She is a great teammate and despite
everything she goes through, she never complains or makes excuses, and maintains straight As in school!
Keep up the great work, Abby!! 🏀📚⛹️♀️
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Dylan Lewis from Texas!
He is 15 and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in September of 2017. Dylan loves basketball
and has been playing since he was 4 years old. He is on his high school basketball team, is an honor student
and is active in student council. He also enjoys volunteering and partnering with his local Special Olympics
program, and playing video games! Dylan’s journey with Crohn’s has not been easy so far – he has tried
many different medications, seen several different doctors, and follows a very strict diet. But recently,
he started new medication and seems to finally be on his way to remission!
Way to go, Dylan! 🏀👏🏼❤️
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Coben from Akron, OH!
10-year old Coben was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was 6 years old, after years of hospitalizations,
surgeries, and tests. Malabsorption and inflammation have affected his kidneys and muscles, and Coben must take
18 medications each day and be fed through his g-tube every 45 minutes to stay healthy and grow.
Although he is often tired, Coben is always smiling and he never gives up.
He loves to downhill ski and play tennis. He also enjoys playing 4-square
on the playground with his friends and watching his hometown hero Larry Jr. play basketball.
Great job, Coben! 🎿 🎾 💪🏼
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek London from California!
London is a 15 year old honor student wrapping up his freshman year at Ramona High School.
He started playing baseball when he was four and played through for many years despite being diagnosed
with UC when he was nine. That first year was rough for him – missing 22 days of school in one
month while still earning straight A’s.
A little over a year ago, he decided to try basketball and he fell in love with the sport. He played a season in
a local league before making the freshman team at his school last season. He plans on sticking with basketball
for the remainder of high school, and wants to play for Stanford or UCLA some day.
Way to go, London!! 💪🏼⚾️🏀
Sam from Lockport, NY is our #TeammateoftheWeek!
Sam is 10 years old, and was diagnosed with Crohn’s 3 years ago. Active in premiere travel soccer,
basketball, baseball, and football, he refuses to let his battle with the disease keep him off the field.
Sam is also a big Buffalo Bills fan and an avid golfer.
Go, Sam, go! ⚽️🏀🏈⚾️⛳️
Meet Camille from New Jersey, our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek!
Camille was diagnosed in 2015 with severe and complicated Crohn’s Disease, that quickly ulcerated
her entire GI system, from her mouth to the colon, within 3 weeks. After being hospitalized for a
month that year, Camille has fought back, through many ups and downs in her condition, and worked
tirelessly to regain her weight, strength, and her skills on the field and on the track. She has learned
how to use the SCD diet, medicine and natural remedies to keep her symptoms and flares from
Crohn’s Disease under control. Camille is excited for all the possibilities in her future and is
determined to be a champion for others as she chooses a career!
Way to go, Camille! 🏃♀️🏆💕
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Gregory from Belfair, WA!
Nominated by his mother Tabitha, he was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2015. Now 11,
Gregory is active in basketball, football, and baseball, and plays on multiple all-star and tournament teams!
Gregory is strong, focused, talented, and refuses to give up on the court, field, or fighting UC!
Keep up the great work, Gregory! 🏀🏈⚾️💪🏼
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Jake from Whiteville, NC!
After traveling throughout the summer playing baseball, he started feeling very weak and rapidly
losing weight. Diagnosed with Crohn’s in August of 2018, Jake is now a junior at Whiteville High School
where he has lead his team to 2 state championships! Committed to continue his athletic career
at NC State University, Jake says that Crohn’s has just been a “bump in the road,” and is determined to
take care of himself so he can fulfill his dream of playing college baseball and hopefully
as a professional one day!
Great job, Jake! ⚾️👏🏼🐺
Meet our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek, Joe Watson!
Diagnosed with Crohn’s in September of 2018, he is active in football and baseball and never
misses a practice, workout, or conditioning session. Despite hospital stays, flares, monthly
Remicade infusions, and multiple medications, Joe refuses let IBD slow him down – he takes
it all in stride and absolutely can’t be stopped!
Great job, Joe! 🏈⚾️💪🏼
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Nicholas from Pennsylvania!
Nominated by his mom Nicole, Nick has been playing ice hockey since he was 4 years old.
Diagnosed with UC at age 13, he has managed to keep a brave face and has never once given up on
his love for the game. He continues to work hard, compete, and is a strong leader both on and off the ice!
Now 18, Nick aspires to play hockey in college.
Keep up the great work, Nicholas! 💪🏼🏒⛸
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek @ali.reigle20 from New York!
Nominated by her mom Betsey, Ali was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 12. Now 16, she has found a passion
for distance running and enjoys cross country, as well as both indoor and outdoor track. Ali’s journey with
IBD hasn’t been easy – she has dealt with anemia, weight loss, fatigue and stomach cramps.
Despite all of this, she never complains about her challenges and has found a way to use the lessons
she has learned from living with Crohn’s to encourage her teammates when they encounter struggles of their own.
Ali is currently in remission, receiving infusion treatments every 6 weeks, and is on honor roll at her school.
Way to go, Ali! 🏃♀️💨
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Akiva from Cleveland, OH!
Nominated by his mom Hilary, Akiva was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when he was 9.
Despite the challenges that his condition has presented, Akiva has never let IBD stand in his way.
He has continued to play on the soccer and basketball teams and enjoys boxing at Title Boxing Club.
Akiva started high school last fall and is a member of the JV basketball team. Off the court,
you can find him hanging out with his friends.
Huge shout out to Dr. Foley, Dr. Kaplan, Lauren, and Akiva’s whole team at the Cleveland Clinic
for keeping Akiva healthy!! 🏀⚾️
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Javen!
Javen is 11 years old and lives in West Texas. He loves playing ⚾️ , 🏈 , ⚽️ , 🏌️♀️ and ESPECIALLY 🏀.
He does all of this while attending junior high, being active in his school’s theater program and
earning A averages in all of his classes. Javen had his first surgery when he was 10 months old,
and was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 16 months. Since then, he has taken over 13,000 doses
of medication and has been hospitalized numerous times. He takes this all in stride and uses his
illness as a means to educate and inspire others!
Awesome job, Javen!
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Jakob, who is 16 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s four years ago!
When first diagnosed, he was in the 5th percentile for height and weight, and falling behind physically
as his peers continued to grow. After trial & error with various medications & dosages, he finally started Remicade.
He is now in the 50th percentile at 5’7” and still growing! Jakob has wrestled since he was 8 years old,
and impressively lettered in Varsity as a freshman. He is currently taking a break from wrestling this year
and pursuing his passion to be on American Ninja Warrior in a couple years!
Way to go, Jakob! 🏆🤼♂️
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Owen from Cleveland, OH!
Nominated by his parents, Owen loves soccer and has been playing since kindergarten. Last summer, his parents noticed
that he was not acting like himself – he had low energy during his baseball season – and was losing weight.
Following extensive testing and a hospital stay, Owen was ultimately diagnosed with Crohn’s in August.
Despite his struggles, Owen always has a smile on his face and his positive outlook on life inspires his family and friends daily.
Great job, Owen! ⚾️⚽️💪🏼
AVC’s #TeammateoftheWeek is @juliaphilbrickk from San Marcos, CA!
Nominated by her dad @edphilbrick.homes, Julia is a 15 year old freshman killing it for her school
volleyball team. She also plays for a traveling Club, which has taken her to Vegas, Phoenix, and more for tournaments!
Diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 11, Julia is unstoppable both on and off the court and won’t let IBD
keep her from pursuing her dreams of playing volleyball in college.
Keep up the great work, Julia! 🏐🥇💕
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek @elias.rimel21‼️
Nominated by his brothers Andrew & Colin, Elias is. 15 year old HS sophomore from Maryland.
Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 6, Elias plays basketball and baseball. He has a positive attitude
and encourages his teammates to work hard in practices and competitions. Elias receives Remicade infusions
every 6 weeks to keep his symptoms under control so he can stay on the court as a player and a
rec league referee! When not playing sports, Elias likes fishing and playing Fortnite with his friends.
Way to go, Elias!! 🏀⚾️🎣
AVC Teammate of the Week is Ryan from Cleveland!
Nominated by his mom @maureen920, Ryan is 9 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s
back in July. Like Larry, Ryan receives his treatment from the awesome care team at the
Cleveland Clinic, and he is active in basketball, baseball, and soccer. He is a true example of not
letting IBD stop him from reaching his goals both on and off the court.
Way to go, Ryan!! 🏀⚽️⚾️!
AVC’s #TeammateoftheWeek is @caleb_badura from Nebraska!
Nominated by his father @mrbadura, Caleb is a freshman in college and was diagnosed
with Crohn’s in 8th grade. Caleb was a 2 time State Golf Champion in high school – despite having an
emergency ileostomy his senior year – and now competes at a high level as a member of the
@northwestcollege Golf Team! He even won his first collegiate meet back in August and led his team
with a 72.7 scoring average after the fall season.
Caleb is an amazing role model for other kids battling IBD!🏌️⛳️ 💪🏼
AVC’s Teammate of the Week is Jake from Massachusetts!
Nominated by his mom Jenn, Jake is 15 years old and was diagnosed Ulcerative Colitis
right before his 13th birthday. Jakes battle with UC hasn’t been easy, including long hospital stays,
difficult flares, and eventually surgery that left him with an ostomy and j-pouch. Despite all of this,
Jake still remains positive and refuses to let IBD keep him from focusing on football, basketball, and his education.
Way to go, Jake!! 🏈 🏀
AVC’s #TeammateoftheWeek is Harrison, a high school sophomore who has been living with Crohn’s Disease since he was 12 years old.
When he was diagnosed, Harrison was playing AAU basketball and continued to do so
despite never being in full remission. Harrison has participated in the USA Basketball 3×3 tournaments
in Colorado Springs, and continues to train, practice and play the sport he loves while maintaining
Honor Roll grades. Harrison is hoping to play college basketball, and have a career in sports
management, broadcasting, or journalism.
Way to go, Harrison! 🏀 ⛹🏻♂️🏆
Our AVC Teammate of the Week is @laurc_13 from Cleveland, OH!
Nominated by her dad @cohen_brady, Lauren is 13 and has been fighting Crohn’s since
being diagnosed four years ago. Lauren has many athletic interests, but her favorite activity is yoga.
She spends hours each week exercising and uses yoga to help her clear her mind and focus on positive things in life!
What an inspiration Lauren is🧘♀️ 💜👏🏼
Our first Teammate of the Week for 2019 is Kyle, a high school sophomore who was
nominated by his mother Erin.
Kyle is active in lacrosse, and his team has won back to back championships during 2 undefeated seasons!
The journey has not always been easy for Kyle – he has faced significant weight loss, reactions to multiple
medications, resection surgery, and more. In spite of all the setbacks, Kyle stays resilient and
is happy to be back to playing the game he loves and fighting hard for his teammates!
Way to go, Kyle!!
AVC Teammate of the Week is Anthony from Las Vegas!
Anthony was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 4 and has a passion for martial arts. He is also a straight A student
and hopes to become a college professor. When asked about the effects of his disease, Anthony says
that the adversity “has made me stronger, more resilient, able to handle stressful circumstances, and more able to cope during difficult times.”
Great job, Anthony!! 🥋 🏆<
AVC Teammate of the Week is Joshua from Ohio!
Lovingly known as “The Colitis Fighter,” Joshua is 6 years old and was diagnosed with IBD
one year ago. He’s had a tough year: colonoscopy and endoscopy to diagnose IBD, oral surgery,
infusions every 8 weeks, sick with 2 ear infections, strep throat, mono, and 30 days of missed kindergarten.
Despite all of these setbacks, Josh is always so positive! Even while he’s fighting his own battles,
he maintains a spirit of compassion towards others. Every time he visits the hospital, he brings something
to leave for other patients so he can spread joy to others.
Way to go, Joshua!! 💜🏀
A very special AVC Teammate of the Week is Hunter Moran.
We were honored to meet Hunter and his family to award him with the 2018
Athletes vs. Crohn’s and Colitis Scholarship Award! Hunter is a standout volleyball player
and was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 13. Hunter’s journey to success has been
a difficult one – stunted growth, rapid weight loss, multiple surgeries, long hospital
stays – but his positive attitude and resilient spirit have driven him to the top of his class
both on and off the court. As a senior, he is an honors student and captain for his state championship team.
We are SO proud of Hunter and thrilled to have him as a member of the AVC family!
AVC Teammate of the Week is Bella Grace from Texas, who is 13 years old
and was diagnosed with Crohn’s in December of 2016.
Bella loves softball and has been playing since she was 3 years old. She also plays basketball
and flag football for her school. Bella is active in her local pediatric IBD support group, and enjoys going to the
meetings and being around kids like her. Her journey with Crohn’s hasn’t been easy, visiting many doctors,
lots of testing, and following a strict diet, but she is now in remission and works hard every day to stay that way!
Awesome job, Bella!! 💜
Jonas of Canton, Ohio, is 13 years old and was nominated by his mom Elizabeth.
Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 9, Jonas plays soccer at one of the highest levels in the nation and he
have traveled all over the country for games and showcases. He also enjoys basketball, running track,
swimming and golf. When he’s not playing sports, studying for school as a straight A student, or helping his
mom in the kitchen (Jonas and his family have adopted the SCD diet, which avoids any processed foods,
starches, carbs, and sugar,) chance is he’s playing Fortnite!
Great job, Jonas!! 🤩 ⚽🏅
AVC Teammate of the Week is Jared from New York!
Jared was nominated by his mom Stephanie and was diagnosed with Crohn’s in August of 2017 at age 11.
He had spent all summer away at camp, and when he came home after 7 weeks, he looked unhealthy
and continued to be sick. With the help of pediatricians, Jared was diagnosed quickly and immediately started
Remicade. When he came home from camp, he was 4’7’’ and weighed 68 pounds. At his last check up, he
was 4’11’’ and 95 pounds! Jared is back to playing ice hockey and is feeling like a brand new kid.
Great job, Jared!! 👏🏼🏒
Julia Smith of Minneapolis is our first honoree:
We are thrilled to shout out Julia Smith of Minneapolis, who was nominated by her mother Barb. Despite being
diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Julia still shines as captain of her high school dance team and is an honor student.
After graduation, she plans to go to college and major in pre-med to become a pediatric GI.
Way to go, Julia!! 💜