In today’s episode, Mylissa Merten, a Crohn’s Disease Warrior who was diagnosed almost 17 years ago, shares her experience as a camper at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Camp Oasis and how, after 10 years of fighting to find something that would put her into remission, found that medications paired with the right nutrition and exercise program led to her first colonoscopy that showed no sign of active disease.
Having spent 10 years battling flare ups and symptoms without relief, Mylissa shares how the side effect of getting fit for her wedding improved her Crohn’s symptoms, gave her more energy, and helped put her in remission. She followed the advice of the nutritionist who was a part of her gastroenterologist’s practice and now knows which foods to avoid and which ones help her when symptoms start appearing.
An avid reader, Mylissa recommends the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth to all IBD Warriors with its message of persistence. The secret to success (in all areas of life) is not talent, but grit–a special blend of passion and persistence.
Since her early days attending Camp Oasis, Mylissa has been talking about her disease to anyone and everyone she meets. Her experience early on at the camp made it comfortable for her to share her story and raise awareness about IBD. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation gave her and her family hope, community, and support from the very beginning and she continues to be involved with the foundation today. She currently participates in the local Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Young Professionals networking group in Minneapolis and encourages others to get involved. While most chapters are striving to have a Young Professionals group, current chapters in Minneapolis, Rochester (MN), Detroit, Phoenix, Seattle, Boston, New York, and Indiana currently have groups. If you’d like to see a Young Professionals group as part of your local Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation chapter, simply reach out to the contact person in your area. You can find your local chapter on the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation website here.
To keep up with Mylissa and her Crohn’s journey (see her workouts, meal prep, what she’s reading, and her story), you can follow her on Instagram @happy_healthy_myl.