Our mission is to improve the quality of life for BIPOC who are affected by IBD, Digestive Disorders and associated Chronic Illnesses; through Community, Research, Education, and Advocacy.

Crystal Finlay


If something isn’t right please go check it out! I knew something wasn’t right when I first noticed the symptoms at 16, 17 years old. In 2003, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis after three years of trying to figure out why I was feeling ill.

Crohn’s severely affected my life, because I always based my life around the bathroom. I would only go out if I knew exactly where the bathrooms were. It played a big role in my social/love life.

Some days were more difficult than others and there are times when I couldn’t get out of bed from joint pain. My husband would help me get out the car or help me dress. I’ve been through a lot, and have been prescribed a lot of medications.

My first major surgery was April 30, 2019 where parts of my colon were removed and I ended up with an ileostomy bag for 3 months!!! The surgery was 8hrs and totally changed my life, because I couldn’t handle it. Luckily I had a great support team that kept me going.

I’m glad I had the surgery, because I do feel a big difference. You still have to definitely watch what you eat but it was all worth it. Since my surgery I have been under the colorectal staff at Washington Hospital Center and they are awesome.

I am currently on Stelara and that seems to be working, but have been on Remicade, Entyvio, Methotrexate, Asacol, Imuran, Celebrex, Xeljanz, Prednisone, Humira, Cimzia.

I am a parent and when I had an ileostomy bag my child was really shy, sad and didn’t want to hug me too much in fear of damaging the bag. When I have flares, my son gets worried that I might stay at the hospital again.

My mental health is good. I have my days of “why me”, but God has always helped me to see that he’s with me. I have gone through some dark days when I was really sick in the hospital, but again God spoke to me and reassured me I was ok.

Living with a chronic illness is not easy and it really makes you tired, so symptoms like chronic fatigue, joint pain, abdominal pain, nausea are some of the problems I deal with. I would appreciate it if people would please bear with us, we’re not lazy just tired. We’re not picky eaters, we just have certain foods we cannot eat that’ll cause a flare.

Join Our Community

Find us on the following platforms and join the conversation!

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Never miss an update. Receive periodic emails from us, and cancel at any time.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.