Ashtyn Lively is a 12-year-old girl living in Courtenay with Crohn’s disease, which was diagnosed when she was seven years old.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) and it affects your bowels, and can also cause eye disease, skin problems, arthritis (rheumatoid), stomach, intestinal blockages and sores that can burrow through any part of your intestinal tract, joint pains, bone disease, liver disease and an increase risk of cancer.
“It can be very painful and make it hard to do normal things that I would like to do,” she says. “It is rare to have Crohn’s disease as a child but even rarer to share it with a sibling. My brother has Crohn’s disease as well.
“When I have a flareup of the disease, I am really sick and have to stay in the hospital. I am always fevered, have really bad stomach pains, so we have to go on a liquid diet. I don’t have a lot of energy to play like my friends do.
“I just got out of Children’s Hospital where I had surgery on my intestines and almost had to stay for Christmas! I go to Children’s Hospital every six to eight weeks for an intravenous medicine. My brother is on three different types of medicine and may need intravenous as well.”
Ashtyn says all she wants is a cure for Crohn’s Disease so that she and her brother don’t have to suffer anymore” and we can live a normal kids’ life.”
On May 27, North Island Distance Education School students and families will support Ashtyn by dedicating their third annual Student Showcase and Silent Auction to those living with Crohn’s and Colitis in Canada, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the NIDES Tsolum Campus.
Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada and the other half will be donated to the BC Children’s Hospital Medical Day Unit where Ashtyn spends time every six weeks for intravenous medication.
Local area businesses have donated a variety of items and gift certificates for the auction. Students will be performing live on stage and student projects and art will be displayed throughout the gymnasium.
Ashtyn will be there offering manicures by donation. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.
— North Island Distance Education School