She can't eat food, but she can run a half-marathon

Crohn’s disease hasn’t stopped this patient from doing what she loves.

 Sonya was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in her early 20s

After a series of tests, misdiagnoses, and unsuccessful treatments, Sonya Goins was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in her early 20s.

“At first, I blamed my symptoms on the dorm food at college,” Sonya recalls. 

This incurable, chronic illness inflames the digestive tract, causing frequent and recurring diarrhea, extreme pain and cramps, and fatigue. Over time, it can also affect your eyes, skin, and joints.

Many Crohn’s sufferers experience flare-ups — sudden intensification of symptoms that can be triggered by stress, certain foods, or medications. 

"Things were really bad,” Sonya recalls. “I had to drop out of school and move back home. There was a point I didn’t know if I’d make it.”

Finding Fairview Home Infusion

Fast forward, and a job transfer brought Sonya to Minnesota. That’s when she found Fairview.

In early 2018, Sonya suffered a severe flare-up — so severe that she could no longer eat anything by mouth other than broth, water, and the occasional cup of coffee. Sonya's care team recommended a food alternative from Fairview Home Infusion. 

"Total parenteral nutrition" is a solution formulated specifically for Sonya that goes directly into her bloodstream, bypassing her digestive system to reduce the inflammation and promote healing.

“Not being able to eat is really difficult and wearing,” Sonya says. “Life isn’t easy, and you can’t be shy when you’re carrying 10 pounds of equipment and an IV bag.”

"But despite my circumstances, I’m hopeful. And that’s what I’ve named my catheter that delivers my nutrients: Hopeful.”

Focus on running

As a life-long runner, Sonya told her doctors she wanted to return to her hobby despite the IV bag. Her Home Infusion team got right to work. 

“Crohn’s has taken so many things away from me in the past 30 years,” Sonya says. “I wasn’t going to let it remove one more thing, like my love for running.”

Her Home Infusion team adjusted her formula, and added a pump and a saline drip to keep her properly hydrated while she trained for the first race she'd entered in years. They came to Sonya's house to teach her how to use the equipment, so she was comfortable and confident. They even shipped supplies directly to her hotel on race day. 

“Walking across the finish line at the New Orleans half-marathon is one of my proudest moments,” Sonya says. “I couldn’t have done it without Fairview.”

Now she's got her sights set on a 10 mile race with "Hopeful" by her side.

To learn more, visit Fairview Home Infusion or call 612-672-2233 or toll-free 800-642-8845.

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