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!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is the beautiful and talented Maurissa from Madison, WI!
Maurissa was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in January of 2019 after experiencing persistent fatigue, weight loss
and vomiting leading up to her 18th birthday. A serious ballet student with aspirations to dance professionally, Maurissa
had immediate concerns about her ability to meet the intense physical demands of a ballet career while also dealing
with an incurable autoimmune disease. Despite hospitalizations, feeding tubes, countless labs and invasive tests,
she never gave up. She was back onstage performing just 60 days after leaving the hospital, danced in a production of ‘Newsies’,
earned her high school diploma and driver’s license all as she worked in the studio and gym to regain strength and stamina.
Her efforts and talent were rewarded with promotion to Company Apprentice by @madisonballet and again
in July when she won a silver medal for ballet performance at NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and
Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) National Competition. In August, surgeons removed 3.5 feet of her small intestine, requiring
6 weeks of recovery before she could begin to rebuild her body a second time. Despite a very difficult year, Maurissa is
enjoying her first season as a professional ballet dancer in her very own hometown! She also enjoys teaching ballet,
acting, performing musical theater and promoting diversity in ballet through outreach events.
Maurissa eats well, stays hydrated, keeps a strong mental outlook by taking dance classes in other genres, rests or asks
for help when she needs it, and listens to her body as she continues biweekly injections of Humira to keep her Crohn’s
in check. Maurissa hopes sharing her story will inspire kids with medical challenges to keep reaching for their own dreams!
Keep dancing and inspiring, Maurissa!
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Jayden from Sioux Falls, SD who was nominated by him mom and #1 fan, Jill.
Jayden is 19 and was diagnosed with IBD his senior year of high school after a 6 month battle with pain following an appendix
rupture during football season – he only missed 1 game! After a series of tests, he was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s
with a 3 mm opening between the small and large intestine due to scarring. In January of 2019, he underwent
a colon resection surgery and a temporary ilieostomy. In March of 2019, the ilieostomy takedown was performed, as well
as the hernia/abdominal wall repair.
He is a standout quarterback and was given the opportunity to play football for North Dakota State, who recently won
the Div. 1 FCS National Championship! He joined the team 10 weeks after his final surgery and continued workouts, weightlifting,
and the high demands of D1 football as a redshirt freshman this past season. He continues to believe that
“nothing is more challenging and difficult that what he has faced with Crohn’s!” He has a regimen of bimonthly Humira
injections, which have helped him return to feeling good as he continues to strive for his goals of a degree in
Mechanical Engineering and to play football for the NDSU Bison!
What an inspiration!!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Jackson from Youngstown, OH!
Jackson was diagnosed with Crohn’s 3 years ago, at age 11, following persistent stomach pain, weight loss,
and fatigue. He eventually was referred to a GI at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland,
and began a regimen of Remicade infusions every 8 weeks as well as Prednisone and iron treatments.
Jackson was also forced to change his diet – he used to love junk food and now eats very clean and healthy to keep him
strong and growing! Active in his middle school’s basketball team and a travel baseball squad, he is also on the honor roll!
Keep up the awesome work, Jackson!
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Davis from Monroe, OH!
Davis is a junior in high school and enjoys all sports, but basketball and football are his favorite! Diagnosed with severe
UC last fall following years of sickness and weight loss, he recently began Remicade infusions and is finally on the mend!
When not playing sports, Davis plays the guitar, acts, and sings – in fact, he played Troy, the lead role, in High School Musical
last year! He also enjoys photography and is active in Young Life.
Davis and his family would like to offer a sincere thank you to his guidance counselor at school, Ms. Stenger, the team at
Dayton Children’s Hospital for their tremendous care, and their family at Berachah for helping them through the hard
times and offering continuous love and support!!
Keep up the great work, Davis!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Emily from Jefferson, OH!
Diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 14, Emily has played volleyball since she was 7 years old and has competed on the national teams for
Eastside Volleyball Club from 13-18’s. She earned a full athletic scholarship to Cleveland State University, where she has played in every match
since her freshman year. She even set a dig record her freshman year and made the All-Horizon League freshman team, as well
Honorable Mention her second year! She has reached and surpassed 1,000 digs in her career at CSU.
Emily is a nursing major and has a 3.95 GPA, earning her a spot on the All-Academic team for the Horizon League for two years as well.
Emily has been strong and courageous throughout her diagnosis, and has not let IBD interfere with her goals and dreams!
Keep up the great work, Emily!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Caleb from Cuyahoga Falls, OH!
Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at just 10 years old, he is now 16 and active in baseball, diving, and snowboarding – even
competing nationally for the past 3 years in Colorado! Just last month, Colin underwent a bowel resection surgery,
removing his colon and large intestines at Akron Children’s Hospital. He also uses Remicade and Entyvio treatments to keep
him ready for competition. Even though there have been dark days and difficult times, Caleb always stays optimistic and
takes everything this disease throws at him with a carefree attitude!
Way to go, Caleb – we are rooting for you!
Meet our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Shane from Aston, PA!
Shane is 10 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease on April 5, 2019. Despite receiving Remicade
infusions every 28 days, he is a tremendous athlete – he sometimes goes straight from the hospital right to
the football field! He is a star running back on his football team, an aggressive rebounder on his
basketball team, and a leading scorer and defender on his lacrosse teams.
Although his Crohn’s has impacted his size, he is small but mighty! Not only is he is a leader on the field
and on the court, he is a great student and always helps other kids in need and is a friend to many!
Despite his battle with IBD, his smile still shines bright – Shane may have Crohn’s, but Crohn’s does not have Shane!
Bradley and James
This week’s Teammates of the Week are the talented duo of Bradley and James – brothers battling IBD!
From Hawaii and nominated by their mother Robin, below is their story:
“I would like to nominate not one, but two athletes for your teammate of the week. Both of my sons have been
diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. James, a senior, was diagnosed at age 15 after 6 months of tests to determine why
he was having crippling stomach pains. Two years later, his brother Bradley, a freshman, was diagnosed at age 14.
Both James and Bradley are competitive high school cross-country runners who compete at the state cross country championships.
In addition to cross country, James is an all-state athlete in swimming and golf. While there have been lots of ups and downs,
both boys are resilient and are determined to reach their athletic and academic goals. James and Bradley
are dedicated to eating clean and healthy to help them maximize their heath and athletic performance.
As their mother, I’m in awe at what they must overcome daily. I’m so proud of them and am honored to call them my sons!”
Way to go, Bradley and James!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Avi from New Jersey!
Nominated by his mom Nisha, Avi is 13 and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was just 7 years old.
He suffered from chronic stomach distress and rapid weight loss, to the point that he almost had to stop playing
his favorite sport, soccer, due to exhaustion. Luckily, he was diagnosed within 3 months of noticing these symptoms
due to excellent care from Dr. Benkov at Mt. Sinai, and Avi was able to continue playing baseball, soccer and flag football!
Two years ago, Avi had to change his care regimen to bimonthly Humira injections and it took awhile for this flare
to subside. However, throughout this difficult time, he continued to play his sports and studied hard to maintain
high honor roll grades! When not playing sports, Avi loves to play video games, travel, and hang out with his friends and cousins!
Keep up the great work, Avi!
Our first AVC #TeammateoftheWeek for 2020 is Megan from Akron, OH!
Megan recently turned 18 and is a Senior at Walsh Jesuit High School. She was diagnosed with UC in February of 2015,
but has never let her diagnosis stop her from excelling on the volleyball court or in the classroom.
She carries a 4.3 GPA, was captain of her high school volleyball team, selected to the All-Ohio State Team and plays
on a National Junior Olympic Team at Academy Volleyball in Cleveland. Megan has recently fulfilled her dream to
play Division 1 Volleyball at Wake Forest University. She signed her National Letter of Intent on
November 13th and is beyond excited to officially be a Demon Deacon!
Megan’s journey to reach her dream hasn’t been an easy one – 3 years prior to her UC diagnosis, she was hospitalized
with Ovarian Cancer. Megan had to endure long hospital stays, multiple surgeries and chemotherapy.
This incredible young lady has been an inspiration to everyone who knows her! Her positive outlook and her
determination to reach her goals despite the many obstacles in her way is incredible to say the least. If history is any indication,
Megan is going to continue to do amazing things in the next stage of her life and we can’t wait to see where it takes her!
Way to go, Megan!
AVC’s last Teammate Tuesday of the decade is Colton from Saugus, CA!
Nominated by his mother Misty, Colton is 16 and a junior at Saugus High School. As the starting quarterback
for his team, Colton threw over 2,200 yards and 21 touchdowns this season! Powered by Remicade infusions every couple of weeks,
Colton has a great spirit and never complains about juggling sports with school work, weight training sessions,
and practices. He is a great leader and is always there to pick up a teammate when they are down.
Colton is a fighter and refuses to let IBD stand in his way, both on and off the field!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Ethan from York, PA!
Ethan is 8 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 4. He has had a rough road, including
a fecal transplant, ileosectomy, and multiple colonoscopies and endoscopies. However, Ethan fights with all
of his might and does not allow Crohn’s to hold him back. He is active in baseball and ice hockey – his team,
@yorkdevilshockey, even won a national tournament!
Ethan is an inspiration to many with his ability to play through the pain,
and thrive both on and off the ice!
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Samuel from Harwood, Missouri!
Samuel is 13 years old and was diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis just after his 10th birthday.
The last year has been very tough for him – he lost 38 pounds and didn’t have the strength or energy to thrive personally
or athletically. Despite all of this, he bounced back and pushed himself to not only be a starter for his team,
but also a straight A student. Even when he was in pain and feeling sick, Samuel, with help of Remicade treatments,
showed up to every game and led his team in 3 point shooting!
We are so proud of Samuel and his ability to succeed – both on and off the court – with IBD!
Madison & Brandon
AVC #TeammatesoftheWeek are 2/3 from a set of TRIPLETS battling Crohn’s Disease! Madison and Brandon
even receive their Remicade infusions together every 8 weeks! Check out their awesome bios below:
Madison, age 17, was diagnosed with Crohn’s when she was just 12 years old. She has been dancing since she
was 5 and refuses to let her disease define her! Although she has to miss practices and rehearsals at times,
she puts in all the work that is required and puts on a brave face. So much so, that many people don’t event realize that she is sick!
She will not let Crohn’s derail her dreams of performing on stage, going to college, and pursuing a career in dance and theater!
Brandon is the oldest of the Davis triplets, and he was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 14. He never lets IBD
slow him down – in fact, he is a second degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and earning the nickname “Gumby” for his
flexibility! Even on days that he doesn’t feel like being active, he still was able to train to be the top ranked in his dojo
and he helps to train the younger kids as well! He has a great positive attitude which helps
him in his fight against Crohn’s!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Tyler from Rancho Cucamonga, CA!
Now 15 and a freshman in high school, Tyler was diagnosed with Crohn’s just after his 11th birthday. He went through
a very rough 2 years after diagnosis, including an ilium resection surgery, chemotherapy treatments for 9 months,
and ultimately Remicade infusions. Throughout this time, Tyler refuses to miss any practices or tournaments. Active in
water polo since he was 9, he received great support from this teammates and coaches, who wore #TeamTyler shirts to competitions.
Today, Tyler is a starter on the varsity team and is an amazing defensive player! He faces his opponents
like he faces Crohn’s – he doesn’t back down no matter how big of a challenge(r) he faces!
Tyler one day hopes to #GiveBack to the IBD community by designing and selling t-shirts to raise awareness.
Tyler is an athlete with big dreams who doesn’t let his disease stop him from achieving success!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Ani from Los Angeles, CA!
Nominated by her loving family and our friends @connectingtocure, Ani is a freshman in college and was diagnosed
with Crohn’s in 2015. Following a summer of accelerating symptoms, a colonoscopy and pill cam study,
the diagnosis was quickly confirmed. The disease came on fast and furious and took Ani down. She had lost 20 pounds
and could not go to school or dance for three entire months. As a 12-year competitive dancer who trained
25 hours a week, and drove 100 miles a day for her training, it seemed as if her life had stopped. After months in bed,
she realized that she needed to accept the cards that were dealt to her, and not let her disease define her. She returned to school,
albeit slowly at first, and began attempting the drive to Anaheim to rejoin the dance team that had supported
her during her difficult months and resume her training. Though the simple act of walking up a flight of stairs had
become a challenge, Ani was committed to becoming again the powerful athlete she had been. And she did it.
But in the spring of her sophomore year, she had her first flare and was hospitalized three weeks prior
to the biggest competition of her life, The Dance Worlds in Orlando, Florida. Determined to go, and not really well enough,
she travelled with her team. Despite her tentative state, she dug deep within her, rose to the occasion, and helped
her team place third in the world. Never had she been so proud or even so surprised by her own mental and physical tenacity.
She continued her good health and growth as a student and dancer for almost a full year before she was hospitalized for acute
Appendicitis. The doctors did not want to do surgery due to her Crohn’s Disease so she had to stay in the hospital for five days
on heavy IV antibiotics to clear the infected appendix. Another setback. Once again, she regained her strength,
and soon found herself immersed in the arduous college application process of junior and senior year. Ani’s resiliency, hard-work
and dedication to all of her crafts once again paid off as she was both accepted to her dream college, UCLA,
as a dance major and also made the highly competitive UCLA Dance Team. As the only freshman rookie on the dance team,
Ani is reunited with her sister Sydney, who is a senior and one of the Captains of the UCLA Dance Team.
Together with their team, they represent the Bruins at the Rose Bowl and Pauley Pavilion and are student-athlete ambassadors to the university.
Now thriving at UCLA and despite all of the obstacles that Crohn’s has thrown at her, (including an infection
in her colon the summer before she started) Ani continues to say “No Thank You” to letting her disease stop her from being
her best self; a student, athlete, dancer, daughter, sister, grand-daughter, sorority sister, friend, dreamer and number one fan of her dog, Cali.
We are cheering for you, Ani!
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek, Drew from Windham, Maine!
Drew is 16 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s in May of 2017. Drew has tried multiple medications,
but had allergic reactions to both, so he follows the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD.) He watches
his friends eat the standard American diet every day, but strictly adheres to his own plan, bringing his own food
everywhere he goes. Following this diet, he was able to gain 40 pounds and grow 6 1/2 inches! Drew never complains,
and no one would even know he had Crohn’s because he does not let the disease slow him down!
Academically, Drew is among the top in his class taking multiple Advanced Placement classes. Back in October,
his golf team qualified for states, AND he also qualified for states as an individual! Drew set this as a goal for himself
last year, and he put in many hours about five days every week last summer, all while working full time
at a family business. He is amazingly self-motivated and is a true role model for his peers, both on and off the course!
Way to go, Drew!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Edward from Williamsburg, Virginia!
We had the pleasure of meeting Edward and his wonderfully supportive family when they traveled
all the way from VA to Akron for our Cavs season kick-off event!
Edward is 10 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s about a year and a half ago. He has truly embraced
the idea that adversity will help make him stronger, and he loves baseball and basketball!
Over the past year, he has never missed a game despite playing at less than 50% of his potential and battling
many flares. Edward is smart, kind, and determined to accomplish his goals in school, sports, and life despite this chronic illness!
Way to go, Edward!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Tommy from Cleveland, OH!
Nominated by his aunt Elizabeth, who also has Colitis and is a great ally for Tommy, was diagnosed with
UC 3 years ago after years of pain, flares, and hospital stays. Despite his condition, he fought every day to stay on the
football team at his school for 4 years. The most impressive thing about Tommy is his
attitude – he never gives up, never quits, and if he’s feeling down, you’d never know it. Tommy gives his
team everything he’s got, and he is truly fearless both on and off the field!
Stay strong, Tommy!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Andre from Bellingham, Washington!
Diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 13, Andre is now 18 and thriving both on and off the court! Nominated by our
friends at @propelacure, below is what Andre’s mom had to say about him:
“After a confounding, lingering illness lasting several months resulted in 13 year old Andre going down to less than
77 pounds, the physicians at Seattle Children’s Hospital identified the culprit: Crohn’s Disease. Regular infusions
have become a way of life, often sending him into soccer, football, and basketball practices directly
following the treatment. Andre has never allowed his medical condition to define him or limit his life. Even those
closest to him have likely never heard him comment, much less complain, about the pain or fatigue he experiences.
Working closely with his strength and conditioning coach/father, Andre, now 18, continues to develop into a strong,
athletic leader of his school’s varsity football and basketball teams. His character and outrageously
funny sense of humor balance with a keen intellect (he will graduate in June with both his high school diploma and
his A.A. degree before moving on to a university and athletic program.) While many who meet him will never
know of his illness, those of us who do know we have a hero walking amongst us. Andre’s got grit. Andre is our hero.”
Thanks for being such an inspiration, Andre!
We are thrilled to feature Emily from New York, who we had the pleasure of meeting at last year’s suite
night at Madison Square Garden!
Nominated by her dad Michael, Emily is 10 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s last spring.
The diagnosis didn’t slow her down – she loves sports, is enthusiastic about learning and competing, and has taken all
of her tests and treatments in stride and continues to excel in the classroom, on the field/court and as a big sister!
Emily loves playing soccer (where her coach calls her Speedy Gonzalez,) basketball (where her tough defense
earned her the nickname Torpedo,) but her number one passion is softball, where she earned a starting spot on her
All-Star team this summer at second base. She wears #5 for her idol David Wright. Emily is a warrior and amazes her
family every day with her strength, resilience and kindness!
Way to go, Emily! ⚽️
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Christian from Arizona! Nominated by his mom Angela, Christian is 18 and
was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 5 years ago. Below is what his mom has to say about him:
“Christian was 13 and a level 5 gymnast having the best season of his life! 1st AA at every meet, including States
and Regional Championships! He was also losing weight and having incredible pain. He stopped the sport
he loved so we could find out what was wrong. He was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s and immediately started a host of drugs
and treatment. He began Remicade treatments a few months later, and continues them every 8 weeks.
He had to switch gyms because of a coach who didn’t understand his disease, and he also had to endure
elbow surgery due to overuse and muscle weakness from the steroids he had been on, but he came back!
This past season, he competed level 10 and even qualified to represent Arizona at the Region One Championships
in California! Now, he has decided to train elite with hopes of making the national team. In his spare time,
he also coaches younger team gymnasts and he is a member of the Civil Air Patrol. At age 18, he just recently earned his
private pilot’s license! He wants to compete in Gymnastics in college and eventually become a commercial airline pilot!
He’s never complained and he’s never let Crohn’s stop him!”
Way to go, Christian – you are proof that IBD can’t stop you from reaching
your goals both personally and athletically!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Ethan from Massillon, OH!
Nominated by his family, Ethan is 18 and a senior at Jackson High School. Diagnosed with Crohn’s
at age 8 in response to failure to thrive, he has always had a love of running that has been hindered by his energy
levels and disease itself. Treatment has included remicade infusions every 8 weeks, as well as a double bowel resection
in 2015. His goal has been to qualify at the state level in running. In June of 2019, he accomplished
this dream by qualifying for States on a relay team!
Being a top sprinter does not stop Ethan from crossing over to long distance. Currently ranked #12
on a cross country team of 123 boys, Ethan’s drive and determination has earned him a spot as a squad leader,
teaching core beliefs of competition and running to others on the team. Ethan’s philosophy in running is to strive for your
personal best time rather than having to be the best on the team because when you do that, you are a winner!
Besides running, Ethan plays on a church league basketball team and loves music. Academically, Ethan
was presented with the rank of “Academic All-Ohio” by the OAT/CCC. Athletics have taken an introverted
boy and has increased his self esteem, drive, and determination.
Way to go, Ethan!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Sammy from Cleveland, OH! Nominated by her family,
Sammy is a collegiate runner suffering from Crohn’s disease. Below is what Sammy’s dad had to say about her:
“Growing up, Sammy was very active participating year round in multiple sports. When she was fourteen,
she became very sick and after being hospitalized, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It took her awhile to build back
athletically, but by junior year, she was able to set the Ohio State Division 2 mile record. She continued to
struggle for years and in her junior year of college she was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Despite her illness, Sammy
still ran for Villanova University and while she was there was an eleven time Big East performer,
second team All-American in the distance medley relay, and helped Villanova win a Championship of
America title in the 4×1500 meter relay at the Penn Relays.
After graduating from VU, Sammy transferred to Azusa Pacific University in CA to get her Masters in Public Health
where she is continuing to run. In mid-September, she was named the PacWest Runner of the week!
She has been hospitalized twice for an E-coli infection, but this has not deterred her. She has had to adjust her
training to her Crohn’s and it has made running painful and more difficult, but she has persevered!”
Way to go, Sammy!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Sohaib from Ontario, Canada! ??
Nominated by his mother Naheed, Sohaib was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 4. Now 12, he take vitamins daily
and receives infusion treatments every 5 weeks – which are definitely helping with his growth,
as Sohaib stands at 6’3”! (sounds like a member of the Nance family ?) Sohaib is a strong, ambitious young man
who loves basketball, and he is determined to be his best both personally and athletically.
Way to go, Sohaib!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is one of our favorite Crohnies and members of our family – Evan from Chicago!
Nominated by his mom @ksherman44, here is what she had to say about her awesome son:
“Evan was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was just 7 years old. Since then, he’s made it his mission
to raise awareness and funds for finding a cure for what he calls ‘a crappy disease.’
Evan loves playing baseball and basketball, and looks up to Larry and Noah as his role models. Thank you AvC for proving
that Crohn’s & ulcerative colitis will NOT take the ‘athlete’ out of any of us!”
Today is Evan’s 10th birthday, so please join us in wishing him a fabulous day!!! What did he do to celebrate?!
Shave #22 in his hair ? Looks awesome Evan, and thanks for all you do for the IBD community – we are thrilled
to have you and your amazing family on our team vs. Crohn’s!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Hayley from Cleveland, OH!
Hayley is an avid/competitive tennis player who just started 8th grade. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s 2 years ago,
when her mom had to pull her from a tennis tournament because she had lost too much weight due to
undiagnosed IBD. She missed that entire summer of playing and practicing, and then had to sit out from competition
last summer due to a broken wrist. Despite these obstacles, Hayley has overcome her struggles to
get back on the court and compete – it took almost 2 years to build back her health, confidence and precision, but she did it!
Fun fact: Hayley was our very first AVC volunteer here in Cleveland at a fall event last year.
We are so proud of Hayley and her commitment to Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness!
Great job, Hayley!
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Christian from Cincinnati, OH!
Now 18, Christian was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 8th grade after battling sickness and terrible flares
while playing football and lacrosse. Once he was finally diagnosed, finding the right medicine for him
was a fight – it took a year to finally find something that could do the job! Doctors didn’t think he would be able
to play sports anymore, but Christian has truly proved them wrong!! He is in medical remission
and has become an amazing athlete.
He continued to play lacrosse throughout his high school career, winning most valuable player his senior year
and scoring over 250 points. He even broke the school record for the most goals and points in a single game,
with 11 goals and 8 assists! The summer after high school, he played for the Ohio Collegiate Box Lacrosse League,
where his team won the Ohio Cup and then traveled to California and brought home the National Collegiate
Box Series Championship. He is now attending the University of the Cumberlands on a lacrosse scholarship.
What an inspiration – keep up the great work, Christian!!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Bobbie from Akron, OH!
Nominated by her mother Katherine, Bobbie is 11 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s
in April of this year after a long illness with significant weight loss and many tests and procedures.
Bobbie is a cheerleader for Akron Public Schools, and she has also been a part of gymnastics and horseback riding.
Bobbie is a strong, smart, and brave little girl with a heart of gold. Her smile brightens every room
she walks into. She loves making people laugh even when she is down and not feeling well,
she always fights through it. She is so excited for this cheer season to begin – even when she couldn’t
cheer last season due to illness she was in the stands supporting her team.
Bobbie is a true inspiration – you go, girl!!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Cory from Methuen, MA!
Cory is 18 years old and just began his freshman year of college. Diagnosed with Crohn’s in March of ‘17,
his IBD journey has been one with many ups and downs. Undergoing treatments including Remicade infusions,
steroids, and methotrexate, he ultimately underwent a resection in July of ‘17. Despite a 47 day hospital
stay and having 1.5 feet of his intestine removed, Cory never lets his illness slow him down.
He finished his high school baseball career as a standout starting pitcher for his varsity baseball team who
never missed a practice, as well as a straight A student. Cory is a true warrior who never gives up.
Way to go, Cory!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Emma from San Antonio, Texas!
Emma is 12 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2015. Since then, she has tried many different
medications to control the disease and is currently receiving infusions every six weeks,
which have been keeping her body happy and healthy. Over the past 3 years, she has maintained great grades
in school, remains on the honor roll, and is very active in soccer, cross country, track, basketball
and golf at her school. Throughout the year she also plays club soccer, a game she has loved since she was 5.
In her free time, she volunteers for many local charities including the CCFA Take Steps walk.
She is not shy about sharing her story and bringing awareness to this disease!
Keep up the great work, Emma!
We are thrilled to feature our very first INTERNATIONAL athlete – 15 year old Matthijs from Berlicum in The Netherlands!
Matthijs was diagnosed with UC in 2015, and has had to work very hard to regain his weight and strength.
He is very active in basketball and competes at the highest level in The Netherlands. He is very strong, focused,
talented and refuses to give up on the court. Despite daily medicines, anemia and stomach cramps,
he never misses a practice or workout session and refuses to let IBD slow him down.
Matthijs is excited for all the possibilities in his future and is determined to take care of of himself
so he can fulfill his dream of playing as a professional one day! Matthijs wants to be a role model in the Netherlands,
just like Larry is in the US, for all the kids with IBD. He realizes how lucky he is that he can do
all the things he wants, despite his Colitis. That’s due to the very good care at his hospital and the
availability of medicines. He is very thankful for that, and hopes to raise money for much needed research!
Keep up the great work, Matthijs!
Our AVC #TeammateoftheWeek is Cayden from Kansas!
Cayden “CC” Carter was diagnosed with Crohn’s in June of 2018. She was showing symptoms long
before that, yet still managed to earn her black belt at age 13, earn the Girl Scout silver award and participate in
multiple extra-circular activities. The weekend before CC’s diagnosis, she played in 8 basketball games
in two days for her AAU team! During the last year, CC has had surgery for an abscess and fistula, and endured
8 weeks of a liquid only diet to combat a flare. She has battled frequent pain, months of iron infusions and Remicade infusions.
Despite this, CC has participated in volleyball, basketball and track. Additionally, she is part of the
symphonic orchestra at Shawnee Mission West High School. CC works to spread IBD awareness
with purple #CCConquersCrohns bands that can be seen all over her school and hometown.
CC fights Crohn’s with a smile and never complains!
Way to go, CC!
Meet AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Simon from Illinois!
We had the pleasure of meeting Simon and his family at our AVC Awareness Day with the Chicago Bulls ?
Simon is 10 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s 14 months ago. Despite his illness, he enjoys
playing sports all year round! He loves basketball, soccer, baseball, swimming, football,
wrestling and is excited to start playing water polo this summer. Simon has been taking piano lessons since
he was 5 and now moving onto percussions! His dream is to study at Duke University and play basketball for them.
Dream big and keep working hard, Simon!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Chandler from Pittsburgh, PA! Nominated by his loving family,
he was diagnosed with UC at age 11, and is now 22. Below is what they had to say about Chandler:
“Chandler has seen his share of highs and lows, more lows after initial diagnosis and the years to follow.
He had a bad flare at age 16 leaving him to sit out an entire year of sports while missing 65 days of school.
He was told he may never get back to playing sports the way he used to because of
how sick he was. He then took that information and used it as his fuel and motivation to make sure
he proved everyone wrong. He continues to not let this disease define who he is! Chandler is currently a junior
center fielder at Clarion University playing baseball. He aspires to get drafted and continue
his baseball career as far as he can take it. We are so proud of Chandler!
AVC #TeammateoftheWeek Addy from Seattle, Washington!
Nominated by her mom Tia, Addy is a rising high school senior and was diagnosed with UC in May of 2017.
She has worked very hard to maintain her commitment to year-round club and school swimming, putting in
6 days of practice each week. Addy has battled through ups and downs with her IBD, and has
established a reputation for being a leader in and out of the pool. She has even been named
captain of her swim team for her senior year.
Keep up the great work, Addy!
Today, we are proud to feature Dwight from Cincinnati, OH! Dwight (#1) was nominated by
his twin brother, Eli (#15.) Below is what Eli had to say about his brother:
“I would like to nominate Dwight, my twin brother, best friend and teammate for#TeammateoftheWeek.
Dwight was diagnosed with Crohn’s a year and a half ago when he was just 12. When he was first diagnosed at
Cincinnati Children’s hospital, I passed out (it’s a twin thing.) He has Remicade treatments there every
6 weeks and Dwight always shows courage and strength and never complains. He has been resilient
and once he gained his weight back, came back to the court even stronger. Dwight and I share everything
but not this disease. He is definitely deserving of this award!”
Way to go, Dwight, and thanks to Eli for being such a great support!
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!!