Crohn, an inflammatory bowel disease, affects up to one million people in the US, many of them children.
It’s caused by the growth of white blood cells in the intestines, which help the body fight infection and other diseases.
For many, this process is painful and often debilitating.
For many, it can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.
“It’s very painful, it’s not the same as being sick.
I think I might have a few more surgeries and probably a few months out of my life that I can’t go back to school,” says Lauren.
The first diagnosis she received at the age of eight was Crohn-disease-free, but after treatment and medication, her symptoms continued to worsen.
Lauren says she was told that she was a “cancer” and had to stop using her right leg.
But when she was 15, her condition worsened, and she needed a second opinion.
She found out she was infected with the Crohn–B-Strep, a genetic form of the bacteria that causes Crohn.
In her case, the infection was caused by a mutation in the gene for the enzyme known as COX-2, which allows cells to use energy from COX to fuel their production.
Because the gene mutation is common in people with Crohn or related conditions, Lauren was diagnosed with the gene variant in February.
However, she had no idea her disease was caused from the COX gene mutation until a week later, when she went into labour.
Doctors were baffled when she began to contract the bacteria, and it took more than two weeks to get the infection under control.
By the time she returned home to Colorado, she was in intensive care, and was diagnosed three days later with a COX–2-positive baby.
Despite her diagnosis, Lauren said she didn’t want to give up on her battle.
Now, at the start of her second year of college, she’s trying to focus on a job that she hopes will help her to “find my feet again”.
“I’m very grateful that I was able to get it under control, and I can really focus on my education,” she says.
So far, she has been able to complete the coursework for her degree in food and agriculture, which she hopes to complete in the fall.
While she’s grateful to be alive, Lauren says she will not be able to see her child for another two years, at least.
A diagnosis like Lauren’s has its own set of challenges, as the condition requires her to constantly monitor her body.
At home, she’ll have to keep a diary, but she says she is working to improve her understanding of the condition and its symptoms, so she can understand her body better.
One of the biggest challenges she’s had is trying to keep her family in the dark about her condition.
When Lauren started her medical research, she and her family didn’t know much about the condition.
But she says it helped them to understand it.
I want to help people understand what I have and not worry about what they don’t know,” she said.
Even though Lauren’s condition has been so difficult to live with, she is still thankful for all of the support she’s received.
Although the condition has taken a toll on her life, she said she is grateful for the outpouring of love and support from friends and family.
Many people in her situation have made the choice to take their own lives.
This article was updated at 10:05am PT on Tuesday with additional information from Lauren.