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West Fargo woman living with Crohn's shares the miracle of being a mom

WEST FARGO - Some who live with it cannot work. It can impact your eyes, skin, and joints.

That's why this week across the nation there's an effort to raise awareness about Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which impacts thousands in our region.

The inflammatory diseases can be life-altering.

Travis and Betsy Husen of West Fargo can't say enough about their little Thanksgiving Turkey, 10-month old Addyson was hoped for, but never promised.

"The doctors were very clear, he said that you cannot try to have kids until you are healthy, and be one year without a flare," Betsy said.

A West Fargo teacher, Betsy has remarkable stories to tell of survival and living with Crohn's.

"I was bent over some days at work, where I was in a lot of pain," Betsy said.

A chronic, often painful inflammatory bowel disease that can impact several areas of the body. Betsy has endured major surgeries, but with the help of daily medications a constant monitoring by specialists, she is doing great and now expecting another baby.

"It is amazing and worth all of the struggle we went through for so long because life is good now and I feel great now and it is worth it," Betsy said.

Betsy is hoping her story will help others come out of the shadows and get the specialized help they need.

Crohn's and Colitis used to be one of those hush-hush diseases few talked about.

Now there is a social media storm this week, to educate and get people the research and straight talk about the diseases.

"It is important to emphasize that patients, the condition stays with the patient for life but it goes through periods of flare up and remission," Betsy’s specialist, gastroenterologist Dr. Ari Taheri said, “The advances in treatment for inflammatory bowel disease the last 10-years, so many fantastic medications out there and continuously we come across new medications. So the outcome is excellent, but it also depends on early diagnosis and aggressive treatment.”

And while Betsy waits for baby number two, she is confident that as more research and discoveries come forward, more people will get the help and live more normal lives.

There are ongoing studies to figure out why Winnipeg, Northeastern North Dakota, and Northwestern Minnesota have some of the highest rates for Crohn's in the world.

For more on Crohn's and Colitis week and how to take part click on one of the links below.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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