The Odyssey Begins

    Overwhelming emotions are evoked from learning there are actual, documented causes of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, far from the generic explanation of “overactive immune system!” Locating the most qualified, open-minded specialist is key to beginning your own journey towards wellness. My GI, Dr. Ira Shafran, who tested and is treating me for MAP (Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis) is an authority in his profession for diagnosis and treatment options for MAP related Crohn’s and Colitis; Dr. Shafran has successfully treated adult patients for MAP since 1996 and has completed his own investigative studies of MAP exposure.

Microbiologist and pioneer John Aitken, with over 40 years experience, has passionately yet painstakingly developed the first blood testing method for MAP; he cultured and incubated my cells to determine the presence of this infectious bacteria. You can order your own test via Otakaro Pathways (link below)! Both of these men are true patient advocates – staunch trailblazers in their respective fields, whose hearts and actions are the embodiment of thinking outside of the box! Their contributions to the UC/CD community are genuine, realistic reasons to rejoice! For now, please carefully consider what I’ve written for your own possible treatment and peace of mind, and know there is much more info that I shall share with you.

As I transit the memories pathway on which are recorded the previous six years of my Colitis Crohn’s Disease existence, I am humbled at the journey. I choose not to tell most people in my life about this condition because it will not define me. My undeniably “the most wonderful parents” since the dawn of man have been there for me like no others, words cannot describe all they imbue for myself, my brothers, my sister in laws, my nieces and nephews and my pooch, the grand dog. I am abundantly blessed with my family.

The remarkable odyssey around, over and under my road carved with splits, deficits and simultaneous bumpy rises will, I pray, help someone else in its telling. The splits are the physical manifestations of chronic or life-threatening illness; the deficits are sourced heartache all people experience. The bumpy additions are similar to what some identify as a weed and others view as the beautiful temptress of a bright, vivid yellow dandelion, daring to fight her way through, and defiantly stand tall, despite being buried beneath layers of thick, sticky, hot, hardening material. Sometimes searching for a crack in the surface whether below or above is the only way to survive. My attempt to convey my story to you is marked with humbleness as I open the windows of my soul to a myriad of strangers, as well as friends and family who know little of my struggle.

My days at best are cloud filled, some rainy, some stormy, others brimming with sunshine, but usually with flecks of morose. Feeling akin to a spectator at the theatre of my own life, I present to you a heartfelt and oft times melancholic history of this lone soul during my walk about. Here, at long last, I offer to you my story of Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. With God’s help, the spotlight will eventually turn from me to Him, and where all of this fits into His plan for my life.

Otakaro Pathways
Shafran Gastroenterology


Wow ! What a great site and fascinating story of your journey. While filled with insight and humor it’s also informative. I appreciate the time it took to create this website/blog. I look forward to your sharing more of your experience.

Many thanks, Ranger Jim!

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