Playing With Crohn's Disease

By: Shannon Shepherd Email
By: Shannon Shepherd Email

The Wisconsin Valley Lutheran girl's basketball team is having a weeknight practice. The Wolves, currently 1-4, are having a tough time running a play. Their starting point guard Moriah Sawyer sits in the corner analyzing her teammates' every play.

"It's really hard to watch. And most of the time when I am sitting it means I don't feel good," Sawyer said.

She is sick and resting. Moriah is a victim of Crohn's disease, something she discovered in 2011.

"I didn't really know what it was at first. I had always not felt good but there was never a name for it. It was nice to finally figure out what was wrong, even though there isn't a cure for it," said the senior.

"It was really hard when she was sick last year. We were always worried about her. And it's hard to see her in a game where she could be hit or pushed and it caused her so much pain," remarked fellow teammate Becky Peterson.

Her father is also her head coach. He was the first one to notice a change in his daughter's athletic demeanor.

"She just really slowed down. She got really fatigued and wasn't as energetic. She used to scrap for every lose ball and run up and down the court. It got to the point we really didn't know what to do" remarked the head coach coy Sawyer.

Month's of diets and doctors later, Moriah was back on her home court, preparing for her senior season.

"I think it really taught us that sports aren't everything. But for someone who really likes it, it's hard not to do something you like."

After a resting period, she comes back into the weeknight practice. She doesn't miss a beat and makes the plly the team was struggling to complete work. It's the same "never quit" attitude she is using to fight Crohn's disease.

"I really love sports. And it was so nice to know that I could play. And sometimes I get scared but just being able to play is what's important" said Moriah.

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