Medical History: A Story Worth Sharing with Family
From colonoscopy to career opportunity
“I was 27 when I found out I had Crohn’s,” Stevi recalled. Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract.1 “I was in bad shape. Probably 90 pounds. I couldn’t keep weight on. I had bleeding. They did an emergency colonoscopy.”
Armed with the diagnosis and new tools to manage her condition, Stevi eventually found herself seeking a career move and set her sights on a company that she believes plays a key role in health transformations like her own.
“I was bound and determined to come work for Olympus, for multiple reasons, but mostly for the equipment that we develop and the technology that we have that [may have] helped save my life.”
Stevi will soon be celebrating her 10-year work anniversary, and says she undergoes a yearly colonoscopy because her condition puts her at heightened risk for colon cancer,2 something her husband’s side of the family knows all too well.
Aunts and uncles at risk, but a 28-year-old cousin?
“My husband’s grandfather died from colon cancer,” Stevi said of her husband, who was 13 years old at the time. As a result, “All of my husband’s aunts and uncles have been getting screened regularly,” she said. “So far they’ve all been OK,” with the occasional polyp removal. But four years ago, one of the aunt’s sons—then 28 years of age—was diagnosed with colon cancer that metastasized to his lungs. He is currently still undergoing treatment.
A wakeup call for the next generation
“This prompted all of the cousins on my husband’s side to get screened early for colon cancer,” said Stevi.3* “Immediately, I was like, ‘we’ve got to go [get screened]. I know this great physician,’” she recalled, referring to a GI specialist she knew of in Philadelphia. Stevi described him as an early adopter “techie” of new medical device technology.
The Jerrold Family