I just learned something incredible about Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard. Garrard suffers from the same miserable disease as my dad, Crohn’s disease.
In simple terms, Crohn’s disease affects one’s intestines. To put it in even simpler terms, it pretty much means diarrhea for life. Gross, I know. Crohn’s disease can kill you, but most likely it won’t. Instead, it just makes your life a living hell as I’ve witnessed with my dad.
My dad has endured Crohn’s disease for nearly 40 years. He’s had countless surgeries, so many so that doctors are hesitant to operate further in fear of giving him Short Bowel Syndrome. My dad has gotten Peritonitis twice – once killing him (he was clinically dead on the operating table and brought back to life), and he’s even had MRSA – you know, that antibiotic-resistant staph infection that has been getting press lately.
He has to have frequent colonoscopies because his risk of colon cancer is astronomical. In fact, doctors have found cancerous polyps three times, most recently last month. My dad will begin a new series of chemo-like treatments for the polyps in a few weeks.
The fact that David Garrard plays with this disease is a testament to his endurance and toughness. Crohn’s affects a person’s diet and lifestyle and I can’t imagine how Garrard prepares his body to play football under those conditions.
Now, I almost feel bad that he’s going to lose tomorrow night 😉 .