My name is Victoria. I am a full-time working solo mom to three gorgeous humans, a sausage dog and a furry cat, a life enthusiast oh, and I have IBD.

I was diagnosed at 37 years old,  although I had symptoms for many years before this but put it down to a food intolerance. I started cutting out things from my diet to see if would it make a difference.  Unfortunately, it didn’t, I was always getting severe pain in my stomach, losing extreme weight and suffering from mouth ulcers, I was always sick. I’d catch a head cold, it turns into a chest infection then pneumonia. Basically, if you cough on me, chances are I’d be on antibiotics a week later. I got on with it as I had no time to be sick, had to work and have three kiddos to raise, so I kind of normalised my symptoms and suffered In silence.

Life was always busy and I thought maybe it was stress that was causing all these symptoms, so I got back into running to help keep my head and health well. It was helping but unfortunately, I broke my hip badly from running in 2014 - who ever said running is good for you, they lied!! I'm joking obviously, as what else can I say, I was unfortunate, my injury was the equivalent of someone falling off scaffolding. I had to have surgery, a year-long recovery and learning to walk again, it took its toll on myself and my family. 

I think the stress of all this may have aggravated my undiagnosed disease or as my consultant advised, a switch was turned on in my immune system and progressively all my previous symptoms had gotten worse and I was now passing blood and extremely unwell. I ended up in the hospital after many tests, colonoscopies and endoscopies, and  I was given the news ‘You have IBD’. If I thought I’d never have to drink that prep again I was in for a rude awakening. I’m now an expert in how to down it followed by lemon barley chasers, it’s the most horrific stuff to drink!

I had no idea what I had ahead of me, the challenge with medications, steroids, injections, infusions and trying to find the right one for me and all the side effects that go with taking these. Numerous visits to hospital and consultant appointments and all the anxiety that comes with living with this disease. 

I call it the disease that keeps giving,  I suffer with Reynard’s now also amongst other delights but one thing it has taught me is resilience and appreciation of the simple things in life.

I am an incredibly lucky woman with the most supportive family, friends and very special humans who have made things easier with their unconditional love, support and understanding, talking about this disease really helps you feel less alone on this journey. 

When I am well, I am full of energy, and positivity and enjoy doing the things I love like sup boarding, swimming, dancing and time with my favourite people. I’m heading to do a trek in the Sahara later this year, I don’t let it stop me from living. 

I hope my story helps bring some awareness to this incurable disease, it doesn’t define us, it’s just part of who we are and we keep fighting it and living💜