Ryan Heistad will take part in the 24th annual Gutsy Walk in Saskatoon on June 2. (Photo: Chris Putnam)

USask employee raising awareness about inflammatory bowel disease

As a research technician at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) Cell Signalling Laboratory, Ryan Heistad’s work is focused on Alzheimer’s disease.

Outside of his employment at USask’s College of Medicine, however, the 23-year-old is focused on another health issue: Crohn’s disease. It’s a chronic condition that has greatly impacted his life since he was diagnosed with it four years ago.

“When I first received my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease I felt a range of emotions,” said Heistad. “I had never heard of inflammatory bowel disease until that point, so there was confusion and fear of what the future would hold for me. My biggest worry at the time was that I wouldn’t be able to hold onto a job, especially having just graduated from college.”

Still, despite worrying that potential health complications could interfere with his life, the diagnosis also provided some relief.

“I had known there had been something wrong with me for a while leading up to my diagnosis, and it was reassuring knowing that medical professionals were able to identify what that problem was,” said Heistad. “There was hope that I could move forward and begin getting my health, and life, back on track.”

Read more on the university news site.

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