I've been thinking lately about why I put so much time and energy into the blog and the website. It would certainly be easier and less stressful to just go on my happy, healthy way, right? :)
I think back to how NoMoreCrohns.com started eight years ago, and why we put the website together in the first place.
When I became completely symptom-free by following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) in 2001, many of our family and friends heard about it, and were amazed at my dramatic recovery. Many told us about loved ones who had a digestive illness and wondered if the SCD could help them too. It was a surprise to us how many actually have digestive illnesses and needed help! (I didn't even know what Crohn's Disease was before being diagnosed!) We put together a packet of information and mailed them out to everyone who asked, so we could help their loved ones find the SCD.
It wasn't even a question of whether we wanted to go to all of that work and personal expense – it was just the right thing to do, so we did it. How could we not tell those suffering about a way they could be free to live their life again and not have to suffer? How could we keep it to ourselves? When a person has discovered a “cure,” they want everyone to know! This is a theme I see often with others on the diet - we all just want to spread the word!
So for several years those packets kept flying out the door. Meanwhile, I met and married my husband Jim a few years later, and we soon moved out of state for his job. In a couple of years we were expecting our first son, and I flew back home for a sweet baby shower with loved ones. I was enjoying what my doctor later called a “picture perfect pregnancy," thanks to the SCD. (Repeated with my next two pregnancies as well.)
One night over dinner my parents and I were talking about how we wished more people could discover the SCD. I laughed about how when I discovered the diet, I just wanted to see a picture of someone on the diet so I could make sure they were healthy looking and not emaciated! Then the idea struck me that we could just start a website. It could reach a lot more people than our packets ever would, and it would be a great avenue to dispense information about the diet (even if only to our own acquaintances).
A website would show others what a healthy person on the SCD looks like. Not simply by appearance, but by answering common questions. What is their lifestyle like? Do they ever eat out? How do they travel? Can they have a healthy pregnancy? And the list goes on.
So when I returned home, I set to work. I have always had a love for writing, and my college major of communications / public relations was a great background for building the website. I had often thought that if I could do PR for anything of my choice, I would do it for the SCD. So here was an opportunity. . .
By the time our son was born, I had the website up and running. My mom jumped in to help, and together we kept adding to it. Both of us have an innate desire to organize and simplify information, which really came in handy when trying to break down the diet on a practical level. I spent countless hours at the computer working on the website while my son was sleeping and my husband worked long hours. Meanwhile, my Mom spent countless hours contributing as well with delicious, beautifully photographed recipes and other information.
A little time went by, and frankly, I was surprised by how many people discovered the website! We started getting hundreds of hits a day and frequent emails asking a plethora of questions about how to actually do the diet on a daily basis. These people needed practical help and someone to tell them they could do this diet, and how. By answering from my own experience I could give them the confidence and information they needed to embark on their own journey to health through the SCD.
And so, over time, as I answered these emails, added information to the website, and we added recipes, the website grew. In 2012 Microsoft stopped offering free websites so we were forced to relocate the site on a new platform, all in a few short months! By that time I had three little boys, so my mom took on the job of moving the whole site over to our present location, rebuilding it to what it is today.
My family and I were thrilled to be able to reach so many people with the great news that there is a diet that can put digestive illness into remission! It was so inspiring to read many success stories!
Here we are, eight years later, and the site has been visited by tens of thousands of people. Almost every response has been positive and grateful and inspiring. Those encouraging words have kept us going!
I frequently return to the memory of how the website began, and my desire to just simply spread the word to suffering people of how they can get their life back.
Am I perfect? Do I know all the answers? Nope! :)
But just like anyone can, I learn as I go, I share what I know from my own research and experience, and I point people to practical resources where they can get the information they need. It's a way I can give back, and I am so thankful to be able to do so.
So when I occasionally ask myself, is this worth it? I remember where we started, why we're doing what we do, and how many people we have been able to point to the SCD from my success story.
And if I'm honest with myself, I actually benefit from the website and blog, too. They keep me thinking about and helping others . . . I'm inspired to try new recipes . . . There is an outlet for my desire to help all people with IBD find the SCD. And the thought of just one more person discovering the freedom they can have through the SCD is enough!
So we keep plugging away.
My mom and I hope our website and blog are a blessing and a positive addition to your research of the SCD!
Hi! I'm Erin, from over at NoMoreCrohns.com. I know firsthand the healing power of food, and I love to share delicious recipes with you! While everything I make is free of gluten, grains, lactose, and refined sugar, none is short on flavor! It is flavor first for good health here. Enjoy.
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