IBD: Raising awareness and making a difference

I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2002. Since then it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I have had most forms of medication to keep the condition under control: steroids, intravenous infusions and an NG tube fed to let my insides have a rest. But my body would only take to these treatments for a short period of time, then reject them.

At the age of 17, in my last year of secondary school, I had my first bout of surgery. This meant I had to have my full large bowel removed and have a stoma fitted. Yes not the nicest of things for anyone to get but it has given me the chance to live my life as without it I wouldn't be here.

Since then I have had two further bouts of surgery and I will have the stoma for the rest of my life. Last year, after a bout of illness, I decided I was ready to spread the word and help rid any embarrassment and stigma that comes with the condition. IBD can be very difficult to live with and having a stoma can have its own boundaries but we should all be aware of this and with more awareness being raised people hopefully no longer have to feel embarrassed.

In just over a year I have, along with the support of the family, friends and my local community, raised almost £10,000 - but most importantly I am highlighting the condition and doing all I can to raise vital awareness.

My fundraising and awareness campaign has been mentioned in the Scottish Parliament, been promoted by TV presenter Ross King in Hollywood and also by lots of well-known names in the UK from Ricky Hatton all the way to kids' TV legend, Sooty.

With some money still due in and with last year's total of £4,040 raised for the charity Crohn's and Colitis UK, I am on track to hit the £10,000 mark. I won't stop there and I will continue to work hard and hopefully along the way I can make a difference.

To support Steven's campaign on Facebook join his page here.

Steven is 24 and lives in Scotland.