How One Man’s ‘Invisible’ Disease Is Changing How People View Disability

From his town in West Yorkshire| England| Stephen “Ste” Walker is changing the way people perceive disability. Walker suffers from Crohn’s disease ¡ª a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes abdominal cramping| anemia| fatigue| and other symptoms ¡ª and recently penned a powerful Facebook post about how people negate his disability because he appears fine on the outside.

In the post ¡ª which has since gone viral ¡ª Walker wrote| “People are too quick to judge these days| just because I look normal and speak normal| that doesn’t mean I don’t have a major disability . . . To look at me| I look like any normal guy my age| but that’s because I want you to view me like that.”

Walker then went on to outline the various ways his disease interferes with his daily life. Like many people suffering from Crohn’s| Walker had an ileostomy procedure to drain his waste through a stoma| or opening on the abdomen. He also has a Hickman line| or venous catheter| that runs to his heart and a nasogastric tube that can be used for feeding.

Because of his condition| Walker is also frequently dehydrated. He explained| “At least I can use medication to help me cope| but the downside to this is it has caused one of the arteries in my liver to clog up. My kidneys are also not in the best condition as I am dehydrated constantly.”

As a result of his viral post| a GoFundMe account has since been created to help Walker pay for his treatment.

Related: Chronic-Illness Sufferers Are Coming Together in the Most Powerful Way Possible

Image Source: Facebook user Ste Walker

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