Missing even one day of high school can equate to days of homework and notes. In Collin Carr’s case, it was not just one day but weeks of being absent. He was going in and out the hospital fighting with both Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. The combination of two diseases is called: Crohn’s colitis. He was diagnosed in the sixth grade, and since then, it only worsened.
Crohn’s is a rare chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract. Colitis is a common chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Although both are similar, ulcerative colitis is only in the colon while Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere between the mouth and the anus. Since he has both, when one half begins to act up, the other half is not too far behind.
“When both begin to flare, I lose my appetite and weight loss happens very rapidly. Accompanying fatigue is abdominal pain and cramps, which feels like I’m being hit in the gut repeatedly,” Carr said.
Carr was formerly a student at Suncoast High School and made it one fourth of the way through his sophomore year before the diseases became too much for him. With every day missed, he fell further behind and his GPA dropped. However, being on bed rest and with a strict medicine schedule, there was nothing he could do. Carr and his family began to talk about his options.
In early November of 2018, Carr officially decided to withdraw from Suncoast and enroll in FLVS. The decision was not easy and was rather abrupt. He would be leaving friends and the thing he loved most about Suncoast, the debate team. His withdrawal came as a shock to many.
Luz Frias, Carr’s former spanish teacher, said ,“He was a very good student and very motivated. I think him leaving was the best for his health.”
Inside of school, Carr was loved by his friends and leaving has affected them all.
Sophomore Anna Lackovic, who was good friends with Carr, stated, “He was really caring and supportive. [Carr withdrawing] was upsetting at first and I still miss him.”
Carr was in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and despite his classes being rigorous, he would still take the time out of his day to help fellow classmates with their school work. Not many knew of his disease because Carr did not want to complain.
Carr’s mother, Abby Carr, said,“He has always been quiet about his disease because he never wanted someone else to feel pity for him. He wants to be a normal teenager.”
Junior year is when all students at Suncoast are sectioned off into their individual programs and the program specific courses begin. At this point, no students are accepted into Suncoast. However, administration decided to hold Carr’s seat open if he would like to return to the school. With next years classes being more rigorous, coming back could be risky.
“I feel like with how unpredictable my health is, IB isn’t worth the stress. I would consider coming back into the ITT program, but I’m not sure,” Carr said. With health being the deciding factor for just about everything, nothing is certain.