So, you’ve just been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and feel like you’ve been handed a life sentence. You might be thinking ‘How am I going to have a normal life, let alone an extraordinary one?!’

Well, we’re here to tell you (with the help of some celebrities) that you totally can.

There are plenty of examples of active, talented people living with Crohn’s who’ve simply refused to let their condition get in the way of their dreams. We’ve picked some of the most high-profile examples to show that the sky is always the limit. These are but a few of the countless others who have made Crohn’s work around their life, not the other way round. So read on, as this list may just surprise you.

Dynamo

Arguably the world’s most famous contemporary magician, Dynamo was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 15. Dynamo, whose real name is Steven Frayne, began studying magic in his teens and believes that the process helped him stay positive and occupied during times of poor health. Speaking to the press in 2013, the world-famous illusionist commented: “Being really unwell when you’re young can be very isolating, not to mention boring.”

He’s since gone on to star in several TV specials, perform for Jay Z and dazzle millions of people around the world with a unique set of tricks and illusions, including a casual stroll across the Thames in 2011 (seriously, how did he do that?!)

Anastacia

She’s sold over 20 million albums and dominated the charts with #1 singles. People the world over know Anastacia for her incredible voice, but few know she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was just 13 years old.

This diagnosis never stopped ‘the little lady with the big voice’ from having a stunning career that few singer-songwriters could match. She’s spent the last two decades touring the globe, maintaining a busy schedule of performing and recording as well as embarking on a number of charity projects to help raise much needed funds for HIV and breast cancer research.

Shannen Doherty

Following her career breakthrough on the legendary Beverly Hills 90210, Shannen Doherty became a genre fan favourite with her demon-slaying sisters on Charmed. As if the life of an actress wasn’t already demanding enough, Shannen has had to manage her Crohn’s disease throughout much of her career. With a life full of rehearsals, lengthy production schedules and magazine photo shoots, Shannen’s success shows that a glamourous Hollywood life and IBD are totally not mutually exclusive.

Luke Escombe

The Australian singer-songwriter, MC, comedian and speaker has become an inspiring figure within the Australian inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) community, in part due to his ability to craft hilarious speeches such as ‘Laughing at Crohn’s – a comedian’s perspective’. After his 2011 show ‘Chronic’ received rave reviews internationally, Luke has continued to speak loudly and candidly about what it’s like to live with IBD.

By simply talking about the condition with an incredible sense of humour, Luke has won over audiences at Parliament House and the National Medicines Symposium. In 2012 he was made an ambassador for Crohn’s and Colitis Australia, giving him even more opportunities to make jokes about medication names and bowel movements. If anything, Luke says that his journey has revealed how Crohn’s can bring out the best in people, “I hear horror stories of what people have gone through told with such bravado and enthusiasm that I almost start to envy them”.

19/09/2014 IRIS number AU-REM0326

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