acceptance,  awareness,  caregivers,  colorectal cancer,  coping with flares,  Crohn's,  Father's Day,  living with IBD,  patient rights,  stigma,  Ulcerative Colitis

Honoring My Late Father

(Daddy at his Doctoral Commencement at Columbia University in the ’70s.)

This Father’s Day I honor all fathers. I especially honor my father who devoted his life to the sciences and to his family. He toiled endlessly until the very last minute working until he couldn’t anymore all to ensure his wife and daughters could get by without him. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder how much better life would have been if he could have lived to see his girls all grown up. 💔

His battle with Crohn’s and later colorectal cancer may have taken his life but he has become my inspiration to fight incessantly for my own survival.

I repeat what I said in my Honored Hero speech: “Daddy, wherever you are, I hope I have made you proud. I will NOT let our suffering go in vain. I have EVERY intention of putting Crohn’s and colitis on the map and de-stigmatizing bowel disease and life-saving ostomy surgery for all of us who suffer in shame and in silence.” 

These diseases take lives and they rob families like mine of their happiness and innocence. I will not stop building awareness and acceptance until a cure is found.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. May your soul always rest in peace 💟🙏

P.S. This post would not be complete without wishing my brave mother a happy father’s day for raising us singlehandedly. Here’s to all the fierce AF single mamas!


(Daddy and me in 1985.)

Tina is a health advocate for patients living with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Via her writing, social media and public speaking engagements, she spearheads public health causes, including those creating awareness for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's & Colitis), life-saving ostomy surgery and initiatives supporting global women's and minorities' health. The intent of this blog is to give those suffering in silence and in shame a voice that creates greater awareness and acceptance. She owns her chronic illnesses and disabilities and her goal is for you to as well!