Athletes vs. Crohn’s was founded in January of 2017 by Larry Nance Jr. and Noah Weber.The mission of AVC is to raise awareness of Crohn’s and colitis in the adolescent population and help children realize their athletic potential despite being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Both Larry and Noah were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease during their adolescent years, both were aspiring athletes and both sought mentors with Crohn’s disease who reached their athletic potential.
Together they hope to connect young people afflicted with Crohn’s and colitis to athletes to inspire and mentor.
I was 11 ½ when my pediatrician noticed that I was tired and not growing. I had a tough year; abdominal pain, an anaphylactic reaction to my Crohn’s medication, changing doctors, switching medications, and missing most of camp this past summer. But something great happened during the summer of 2016. I was inspired. I watched as a college athlete with Crohn’s disease won two medals at the Olympics for swimming, and then thanked her doctors and nurses who got her into competitive form despite her chronic illness. I then searched the internet for athletes with Crohn’s disease. I found this USA Today article where Larry Nance Jr. shared his story.
Larry was diagnosed at age 16 when he was tired and not growing. He also loves sports, plays NBA2K and fantasy football. He also met his potential and is an NBA player. But Larry also manages to find time to listen to other kids with Crohn’s and colitis, talking to them during his four hour infusion of medication every seven weeks. I wrote him on social media, and to make a much longer story a bit shorter, he responded to me. That one phone call and Larry Nance Jr. have changed my life.
I want to reach my potential, whether that’s spending this summer away from home at camp in the Adirondacks, or playing baseball for my high school team (I’m too short to play high school basketball thanks to my 5’8” father!). Larry has mentioned how he wants to do more for kids with Crohn’s. That’s when I came up with the idea for Athletes vs. Crohn’s & Colitis. Our mission is to raise awareness of Crohn’s and colitis in the adolescent population and help children to realize their athletic potential despite being diagnosed with a chronic illness. We hope to connect young people afflicted with Crohn’s and colitis to athletes who have overcome similar challenges and who will mentor and inspire them to succeed.
Larry Nance, Jr. is currently a power forward on the New Orleans Pelicans. After starting as a power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, he returned to Cleveland wearing the same number as his dad, Cavs legend Larry Nance Sr.
Nance was the 27th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Lakers. In his two years in the NBA as a Laker, Nance played 123 games and scored 768 points.
Nance was recruited to play college basketball for the University of Wyoming. He led the 2014-2015 Wyoming Cowboys to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, earning him recognition as one of the best big men in the Mountain West Conference.
After years of exhibiting symptoms, Nance was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 16. Once he began treatment for his disease, Nance blossomed into the powerful athlete that he is today. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Nance enjoys spending time with his fiancé, Hailey, and dogs Reggie and Kyle, watching soccer, and playing video games.
“While nobody wants to hear that they have a chronic illness, I did feel a sense of relief when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, because I finally had some answers and could start treatment that would make me feel normal.”
The mission of AVC is to raise awareness of Crohn’s and colitis in the adolescent population and help
children realize their athletic potential despite being diagnosed with a chronic illness.
Athletes vs Crohn's & Colitis is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
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