As a third grade teacher, Peter spends his days trying to instill a love of education and learning in his students. But an important aspect of his own education came from the most unlikely of places: his Crohn’s disease.
Peter first began experiencing Crohn’s symptoms just before starting high school, while on a family camping trip. Luckily, Peter’s uncle had just been diagnosed with Crohn’s and was there to help him learn about the disease. “I’ve learned to manage the pain, the embarrassment, how to cope with issues other teenagers and young adults don’t have to,” Peter says. “But it’s also made me a better person, more empathetic.”
And now he’s ready to share his knowledge with others living with Crohn’s, taking an active role in Crohn's & Me and Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America activities. Peter’s advice is to be patient and explain Crohn’s to friends and family in the best way you can. Give people a chance to understand what you’re going through, and you just might be surprised at how willing they are to learn from you.