Sunday, September 23, 2007

Watching David Garrard Play Football - Athlete's with Crohn's

So I am sitting here watching David Garrard play football. I love seeing anyone beat Crohn's but I have a special place in my heart for athletes with Crohn's. David is doing well as the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is a fighter on the field and is making short work of Crohn's disease. He really put the weight back on quickly and is treating his Chron's with Remicade. Watching him fight on the football field makes me proud. Also makes me want to get my neck healed so I can get back to soccer!

His story is here:
Jacksonville Jaguar Quarterback David Garrard first experienced symptoms of Crohn’s disease at the end of the NFL season, in January 2003. The diagnosis was confirmed with a colonoscopy, and Garrard began treatment. His management plan included Canasa, prednisone, and finally, Remicade. These therapies failed, and Garrard lost 35 pounds from his 6’2” frame. In June of 2004, he underwent surgery to remove about 1 foot of intestine.
After surgery, Garrard recovered quickly and regained the weight he had lost. A post-surgery examination showed that his gastrointestinal tract was free of Crohn’s. After a routine colonoscopy revealed traces of Crohn’s last year, Garrard again underwent treatment with Remicade, and as of July 2006 is Crohn’s-free.
Garrard has recently entered into a partnership with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America called Team Crohn’s. Team Crohn’s is an initiative sponsored by Centocor Inc that focuses on education about pediatric Crohn’s disease. As part of Team Crohn’s, Garrard is touring
Camp Oasis locations around the country. Camp Oasis is a residential program for children with IBD. Doctors diagnosed David Garard with Crohn's disease in 2004. Despite undergoing surgery in June 2004 to remove a nearly 12-inch portion of his intestines, Garrard played during the 2004 NFL season.
Garrard's wife, Mary, gave birth to the couple's first child, a son, Justin Thomas Garrard, on September 17, 2007.
Educating the public about the disease is now a priority for Garrard. "Even though a lot of people suffer from Crohn's, it's still a condition many people don't know anything about. Since telling others I have this disease, I've had people who seemed to come out of the blue, saying 'Oh, yes, I have that, too.' It's a funny disease in a funny place in an area you don't normally want to talk about over dinner." He has been so successful in building up his body that his coach recently asked him to shed ten pounds off his 250-pound physique. Garrard, who now weighs about 240 pounds and has a mere 9-percent body fat, eats a high-protein diet. That's not the way it was when he was in college, where he ate lots of junk food and had 15-percent body fat, which Garrard says is at the high end of normal for professional quarterbacks.He now stays far away from junk food and no longer has cravings for fried chicken. "I haven't had fried chicken in such a long time that I don't even have a desire for it anymore." But David still loves food. "Sticking to the right diet for me can be a bit challenging," he says, adding, "That'll always be my weakness. I'm a food connoisseur with a passion for everything from Italian to seafood." When it comes to his future, Garrard's goals are straightforward. "I'll do whatever it takes to avoid any more recurrences of Crohn's disease. I eat as healthy as possible, take my medication on schedule, and listen to my doctor. I want to be the best husband I can be and, when I have children, the best father, too."


Anonymous said...

i watched that game too and had similar thoughts...glad you said something! He was soo sick for a while. Keep up the good work.


khodge said...

hey i have crohns disease. i was jus dianosied on oct. 24th 2008. and i love chicken nuggets! lol but im actually doin better than i thought i would.

Crohn's Disease Blog