YOUNG Citizen Of The Year for Port Stephens, Miss Carissa-Mae Maher, while an active member of the community, suffers from Crohn’s Disease and Colitis.
Approximately 75,000 Australians have this gastrointestinal disorder which is a lifelong condition that can surface in patients at any stage of their life, from childhood, teenage years, or adulthood.
A form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, May is Crohn’s Disease and Colitis awareness month.
News Of The Area caught up with Miss Maher to discuss her experiences living with the two conditions.
In addition to her citizenship accolade, Miss Maher is also a university student and works part time.
When asked what strategies she puts in place to lead a full and active life and to achieve her goals, Miss Maher said, “My strategies are predominantly organisation, this is key.”
“This helps eliminate stress.”
“I live by my diary and my wall planner.”
“Taking time out for myself is important, activities like sport and reading help me focus better.”
Miss Maher also added, “Having a good support network from family and GP, Dr Burford, is also important to keep me healthy and on track.”
Diagnosed with Crohn’s and Colitis when she was 15, over the past three years, Miss Maher has endured hundreds of doctor’s visits, weekly blood tests in the beginning of her diagnosis, and has been admitted to hospital many times.
Miss Maher is raising money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Australia Charity for research into finding a cure.
She has placed a donation box at Central Health Alliance.
Readers can donate to https://give.everydayhero.com/au/carrissa-s-crohns-journey-it-takes-guts.
By Heather SHARP