The Great Comebacks® Program is very pleased to recognize the four terrific young people who have been named our newest Comeback Kids™ Award Recipients: Cal Shockley, Huntsville, AL; Dan Wells, North Aurora, IL; Katelynn Jarvis, East Longmeadow, MA and Kelsey Bell, Vista, CA. This award is presented to young people who have overcome the challenges of severe bowel or bladder disorders and enjoy active, productive lives.
Our recipients have all demonstrated a commitment to facing challenges head on:
• Cal Shockley is a competitive swimmer who developed a serious case of ulcerative colitis and needed emergency surgery that led to an ileostomy. Now 12 years old, he also enjoys basketball and baseball and is proud to help other kids with colitis through the CCFA organization. After a second j-pouch surgery in July 2011, Cal is already back in the pool and ready to compete again.
• Dan Wells is a teenager who spent 42 days in the hospital while doctors removed his colon, leading to an ileostomy, and also took steps to treat some severe post-surgical infections. Dan has a genetic disorder that causes development of noncancerous growths that can lead to colon cancer. Now living with a j-pouch, Dan, 14, is proud to say that his surgeries did not make him a different person. He continues to enjoy playing basketball and football with friends.
• Katelynn Jarvis struggled with a neurogenic bowel and bladder at a young age. After a special Malone appendicocecostomy (MACE) procedure, Katelynn feels much healthier and is now leading her middle school class as a member of the student council. At 14, she also enjoys volunteering at a local community center in Massachusetts and can’t wait for Youth Rally this summer!
• Kelsey Bell was born with cloacal exstrophy, a rare condition that caused many of her abdominal structures to be exposed at birth. After 32 surgeries including ileostomy surgery and colostomy surgery, Kelsey is finishing up her freshman year of high school and loves both creative writing and art. Now 17, Kelsey is committed to helping others, joining in efforts to feed the homeless and support social justice causes.
We are proud to recognize the bravery and perseverance of this year’s Comeback Kids™ award recipients. Their efforts to overcome severe health challenges and lead full and active lives are an inspiration to young people everywhere.
For more information about the Comeback Kids™, please visit our Awards Programs page. This year’s deadline for submitting applications to the Comeback Kids™ program is August 1.