Hi, my name is Josiah, and this is my story with Crohn's/Colitis.
I am a 22 year-old full-time student and entrepreneur.
At the age of 16, I fell into the clutches of autoimmune disease. Each day since has been a journey of highs, many lows, and finding new ways each day to cope with the burden of Crohn's/Colitis.
A few blessings became of this disease: When I first became sick, anxiety, hopelessness, and confusion began to plague my life. Although I've been a passionate artist since childhood, I didn't discover my love for photography and exploring the night skies until I became sick. Photography, stargazing, and exploring new places became my outlet for coping with the overwhelming stress that comes with this disease. Over time, I realized I wanted to do photography as a career, and over 5 years later, I am a full-time student purusing my career in photography, graphic design, and the world of entrepreneruship. (I am now the business owner of Frozen Pines Photography & Design: josiahkopp.com for more info on my career path).
Music has also played an important role in my life and my journey with Crohn's/Colitis. I have played piano since early childhood, taught myself guitar at age 12, and now I enjoy songwriting and recording. There's nothing quite like pairing a good outdoor photo adventure with some Lord Huron (my favorite band).
In summer of 2019, I became so sick, had lost weight, and was in the ER for severe blood loss. After going over 5 years with no diagnosis (but having severe symptoms like heart palpiations, naseua, bloating, severe indigestion, joint and bone aches, night sweats, weight loss, chronic fatigue, and more), I had a colonscopy and a GI-MAP that finally revealed my condition: mild Crohn's in the small intestine and severe Colitis in the colon. Since then, I have transformed my lifestyle, diet, and mindset, choosing a natural route for healing. I have pulled upon the genuis minds of author's and public figures such as Jini Patel Thompson (author of Listen to Your Gut), Jordan Ruben (author of the Maker's Diet, founder of Garden of Life Nutrition), The Bible, my naturopath doctor, and many others.
To not just treat the symptoms, but to heal my body from the inside out, my treatment plan is as follows:
- Working one-on-one with my naturopath doctor (a Crohn's surviver herself!)
- SCD/Maker's Diet/Low Inflammation Diet
- High dose of Natren Probiotics to restore and repaire microbiome (mine is extremely compromised with a low count/diversity)
- Medical treatments for inflammation and pain
- Eating clean, daily deep breathing exercises/meditation
- Living a life of faith, positivity, hopefullness, and putting my trust in God
Overall, I am a young man who is ambitious about life, loves family and God, and despite my struggle and journey with Crohn's/Colitis, believes God has a plan and that I have a long life of exciting adventures ahead.
God has already blessed me with so much, like an amazing family, supportive friends, and open doors for my career. To help me achieve the fastest route to healing and remission, I have been working with an amazing naturopath doctor (who herself as mod/severe Crohn's but is successfully in remission) as well as an incredible GI doctor who is dedicated and invested in helping me reach optimum health.
As a full-time student living independently, the financial burden of both medical and natural treatment is too much to carry alone.
Please pray, and consider investing financially into my health, my life, and my future.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about my journey,