Dusty was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) in December 2017. He fought the battle against UC for 45 days at the beginning of 2018. The disease attacked his body quickly and he started to deteriorate. Doctors prescribed steroids and a double dose of Remicade to combat the UC. Unfortunately, the drugs were unsuccessful. He was given multiple blood transfusions and an IV for daily nutrition. Dusty was bedridden for nearly a month leading to severe weight loss (40 lbs!), decreased strength and stamina, and lost his ability to walk. The doctors finally made the decision, that in order to save his life, his entire colon was to be removed. For the next 6 months he lived with the daily challenges of life with an ileostomy. Dusty had to learn which ostomy supplies were important to have on hand when he was not at home. He learned ways to change his ostomy bags efficiently and with limited odor, and which products helped him feel more comfortable in his new body. His biggest challenge was learning how his body now processed food. In the spring of 2018, his surgeons created a new colon out of his small intestines, called a JPouch. That summer,he had his final surgery to complete the process of putting his intestines back inside so that he could live without an external ostomy bag.
Ultimately, his body succumbed to the severity of Ulcerative Colitis.
While Dusty was fighting his battle to survive and walk through this season of life, God was calling me to serve others. We were in a series at church called Fearless and I was praying that God would make me a fearless leader. As I prayed for Dusty's health and recovery, God was whispering for me to be fearless in my pursuit to make sure others going through this same season of life, would not feel alone. As I prayed and studied, my vision became clear. We would use Dusty's journey as our platform to give back to the hospital community that had served and supported our family. We started No Guts All Glory in August of 2018 to create care packages for patients battling Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, and colon cancer. Our care packages include supplies that make the transition from the hospital to home more comfortable for patients after colon surgery. We continue to live our mission of serving others through our giving and making sure no one feels alone in their disease.