At the age of 13, Anastacia was diagnoised with Crohn's disease. This disease causes inflammation and ulceration of the intestine which leads to pain, weight loss and exhaustion. She credits her ongoing battle with the disease as something that has made her a stronger person.

Anastacia says: "I have a big scar on my stomach and would never hide it. Crohn's can be debilitating, but I am lucky to be in the two to three per cent of sufferers who are relatively healthy. I have Crohn's friends who have been in and out of hospital, or have colostomy bags and some have died. I think I got it so young that I incorporated it into my way of living, enabling me to become stronger ."

"For those with Crohn's, holding in our emotions or masking her unhappiness fuels the symptoms," said Anastacia. "What is seen as a curse for some, is a gift for me, because it has helped me to discover who I really am as a person. The disease has given me a clear window to my own emotions, which causes me to live each moment and to understand exactly how I'm behaving in a particular situation."

Crohn's disease* is a chronic and serious inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that affects more than 500,000 Americans. People with Crohn's disease may experience a number of symptoms. The range and frequency of these symptoms varies. For some people, symptoms are severe and can be debilitating, while others experience long bouts of remission in which their symptoms are mild to moderate. Crohn's disease is not fatal, and many people diagnosed with Crohn's are able to lead active, productive lives.

* Crohn's disease is also sometimes referred to as ileitis, regional enteritis, or colitis. Although Crohn's disease is the general term used to describe the condition, doctors use these specific terms to differentiate the portion of the bowel that is involved.

For more information on Crohns disease, please check out the following websites or check out our links page for additional links.

Crohn's & Collitis Foundation of America
Crohn's & Colitis Center of NJ
Crohn's Disease: My Story (and How I Won)
Crohn's - Crohn's Disease Resource Center