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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patient Stories

Read the stories of some patients who came to UPMC for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment.

Although everyone’s care experience is unique, we hope these stories will help prospective patients and their families better understand these treatments and their potential impact on patients’ lives.

Carolyn Binnig: Ulcerative Colitis

A local high-school student and soccer player, Carolyn Binnig increasingly began to face more alarming flu-like symptoms that weren't getting better. Finally, she was referred to the UPMC Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center. After several tests, Carolyn learned that she had ulcerative colitis and began treatment so that she was able to return to high school.

Read Carolyn Binnig's story

Alyson Lyon: Crohn’s Disease

Alyson Lyon - IBD Patient Story

Alyson’s primary care doctor officially diagnosed her with Crohn’s disease in 2005. After a year of continued symptoms, he recommended that Alyson see a gastroenterologist and referred her to the UPMC Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center.

Read Alyson Lyon's story

Jim and Leah Maretsky: Colitis and Crohn's Disease

Jim and Leah Maretsky - IBD Patient Story

Leah and Jim had plenty in common, even years before they met through mutual friends over a workout. However, in addition to pursing an active lifestyle, they quickly discovered they also shared diagnoses of debilitating forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Both Jim and Leah, unbeknownst to each other, found their way to the UPMC Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center in hopes of restoring a positive outlook for their condition.

Read Jim Leah Maretsky's story

Michael Martin: Ulcerative Colitis

Michael Martin - IBD Patient Story

During his senior year of college, Michael Martin was busy studying, having fun, and looking forward to life after graduation when he started experiencing mild episodes of abdominal pain and stomach cramps. After a series of visits, his gastroenterologist diagnosed Michael with Crohn’s disease.

Read Michael Martin's story

Travis McClain: Crohn's Disease

Travis's allergies to dairy products and other digestive problems rarely allowed him to spend much time with his friends, in fear that he would have a GI attack. Since getting treatment at UPMC, Travis has continued to fight his Crohn’s disease with the support of his UPMC IBD physician and other UPMC doctors.

Read Travis McClain's story

Greg Reed: Crohn's Disease

Greg Reed - IBD Patient Story

When Greg started experiencing severe stomach pain he was hospitalized for days but Greg was not about to give up. He was determined to keep competing and fulfill his summer triathlon plans, so he worked with his doctors at UPMC to develop a plan and stabilize his condition.

Read Greg Reed's story

Suresh Shah: Ulcerative Colitis

Suresh's inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) would sometimes cause him to have an acute attack at the most inconvenient times, affecting both his health and his work. His IBD specialist prescribed a medicine for Suresh so he could continue with traveling and other hobbies.

Read Suresh Shah's story

Sean Shapiro: Ulcerative Colitis

Sean Shapiro – Ulcerative Colitis Patient Story

Sean Shapiro was only 18 when doctors diagnosed him with ulcerative colitis. But he wasn't about to let it hold him back from doing everything he loved.

Read Sean Shapiro's story

Lorraine Vollmer: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

One day, while researching different treatment centers for her digestive problems, Lorraine suffered a stroke. A vein had ruptured in her brain. She walked out of the hospital on her own and her IBD was in complete remission after only 33 days after transferring to UPMC Montefiore.

Read Lorraine Vollmer's story

(Note: These patients' treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.)

Additional Resources

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with an IBD subspecialist gastroenterologist, call 412-647-4194. 

To learn more about the UPMC Digestive Disorders Center, call, toll free, 1-866-4GASTRO (1-866-442-7876).

Request an Appointment