Xavier loved hockey and was on the rink three times a week.
Then, at the age of seven, he became very sick. He lost interest in food, lost weight, and became weaker each day. After numerous trips to the Janeway Children’s Hospital, he was sent home after a series of tests, only to become sicker. Finally, he was admitted to the hospital and within days his doctor diagnosed Chron’s, a bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation.
Most people with Crohn’s disease can enjoy healthy, active lives. While there isn’t a cure, treatments and lifestyle changes can keep the disease in remission and prevent complications. But finding that right balance can be tricky.
Through trial and error, Xavier was put on numerous medications. These medications came with painful injections of a chemotherapy given at home and a day-long intravenous (IV) infusion at the hospital every six to eight weeks.
Xavier missed a lot of school but with the support of his teachers and friends, he managed to keep up. He then got his second wind when one infusion finally succeeded.
Xavier did well for two years until that medication became ineffective and they had to try another. He was hospitalized again, found another one that worked, and has been doing better ever since.
He currently has IV-infusion every eight weeks. Plus, he is on a restrictive diet to help manage his symptoms – meaning no typical foods for a teenager like processed food, sugars, or carbohydrates.
Xavier gave up hockey because of lower energy levels and to avoid getting accidentally hurt. But he is now active in lots of other wonderful ways, playing volleyball and soccer, and playing video games and making YouTube videos with his friends.
Children’s hospitals across Canada work hard to advance our understanding of childhood diseases and to discover new treatments, cures, and innovations. Thanks to your support through foundations such as the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation, Canada’s children’s hospitals can help children like Xavier get back to being fun-loving kids.
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