Kevin Dineen: The Canadian right wing struggled with Crohn’s disease throughout his 19-year National Hockey League career, particularly in the early years after his 1987 diagnosis.
Dineen, now coach of the Florida Panthers, tells USA Hockey magazine that the disease was “a real eye-opening experience” because there’s no quick fix. “This is a chronic, debilitating disease that’s with you for life,” he says. “It took me a couple of years to come to grips with that.”
Cynthia McFadden: ABC News correspondent McFadden first experienced the excruciating pain of Crohn’s disease, which her friends euphemistically dubbed “George,” in her sophomore year of college.
“They weren’t going to say, ‘Did you have 15 diarrhea attacks today?'” the journalist says in a 1994 People magazine interview. “So, instead, they’d ask me, ‘How’s George?'”
After a bout of internal bleeding in 1979, she had 15 feet of intestine removed. McFadden, who now works to raise awareness about the disease with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), has been mostly in remission ever since.
Frank Fritz: One of the stars of the History Channel’s reality series “American Pickers,” is an antiques treasure hunter who has battled Crohn’s for more than a quarter century.
“Crohn’s is like a duck,” he told Crohn’s Advocate magazine. “Ducks look calm, floating quietly on the surface of the water, but underneath they are paddling like crazy. It’s the same for people with Crohn’s — on the outside you can’t really tell, but I’m working really hard to stay in control as much as I can.”
Mike McCready: Rocker McCready, the lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, considers himself a lucky man, despite having Crohn’s disease. In 2007, he told BigButtRadio.com that he is blessed to make a living doing what he truly loves.
“I went public with my condition to show people that despite the disease, you can still have a life and career,” he said in a statement.
Shannen Doherty: Fox’s teen drama “Beverly Hills, 90210” catapulted this Memphis-born actress to stardom in the early 1990s.
Doherty told Star magazine in 1999 that she had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. However, she has kept many of the details of her battle under wraps, reportedly claiming it’s not sexy for a woman to say, “I’ve got to go to the bathroom right now.”
David Garrard: When Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback Garrard began to have severe stomach pains after meals, he knew something was amiss.
“I just thought I had a stomach virus,” he says in a 2005 New York Times interview. “It was three months before I asked anyone to check me out.”
In 2004, doctors removed 12 inches of Garrard’s intestine and put him on a treatment plan to help him regain weight and return to the gridiron. Garrard is now the spokesperson for CCFA’s campaign, In the Zone for Crohn’s, which raises money for research.