Voices Across America

Ulcerative Colitis, then Cancer, but I’m Still Here

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State: Massachusetts
Congressional District: MA03


Bone / Muscle Disease, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Gastrointestinal Disease, Reproductive Disease

Issues and Challenges

Keyla has encountered: Copay Issues, Insurance Issues, Medicare / Medicaid Issues, Mental Health Access, Abuse (Mental, Physical, Elder), Copay Accumulator, Disability, Discrimination (nonmedical), Invisible Illness, Medical Devices, Medical Discrimination, Prior Authorization, Social Security Disability, Step-Therapy / Fail First, Suicide / Self-harm

My Story

My name is Keyla I am 37 yrs old and I was diagnosed at 27 with ulcerative colitis (UC), and now Crohns Disease a year ago. Having UC has made me appreciate life and so many other things way more than I could ever imagine.

When I was diagnosed I never really understood what UC was or what it meant to have it. As time passed and UC decided to show me what it was really about I started to research and learn more about it. After doing oral meds for 2 years, my UC was fairly under control until I was told I had a cancerous mass in my uterus. So at 29 years old I had a hysterectomy and that was where my health declined. From many hospital visits and stays to failed medications, countless prednisone dosages, and endless hours of infused biologics. Having failed everything possible I decided it was time to evict my colon. I began my 2 phase jpouch procedure which ultimately failed. A year and a half ago I had an ileostomy placed and 7 months ago, made it permanent. Looking back at my journey, my struggle, how far I’ve come, and what my future might hold. I know that I am more than capable of fighting my way thru whatever lies ahead, just like all of you.

My Motivation and Inspiration

What gets me thru this journey is my son and family. I try and live a healthy life as best as I possibly can. And all of you! I love to advocate for patients and spread awareness as much as I can. Sharing my story and journey with others has really helped me heal and navigate this journey better.

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