My name is Jose V Rodriguez. I’m 27 years old. I was born in The Dominican Republic, but grew up in Washington Heights. I am the oldest of 3 kids. I have two young kids now who are the light of my life. My son just graduated from Kindergarten and my little girl is 2 years old. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but I have a strong family. I was always involved in sports in school. Due to many different circumstances, I didn’t have a lot people to help me growing up. There were times I felt alone and had to figure things out on my own. This made me really independant. Because of my struggles though, I am now a successful owner of my own limousine company.

In September I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I was in so much pain and feeling hopeless. I had also lost a lot of weight because I couldn’t really eat anything. I had to go into emergency surgery. I was scared about the surgery. I had never had surgery before. I wanted to get better for me and my kids. I didn’t know if my body would ever be the same again. If I would be able to do the activities I wanted to do after the surgery. I needed to be able to support my kids.

I didn’t realize I had the courage, strength, and faith that everything would be ok until I was faced with this surgery. Facing Crohn’s disease helped me realize that I needed to put my health first. I was always so focused on everyone else. I am more healthy man in every area of my life now. I feel better as person. I hope my story will help others facing diseases like mine.