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South Hills Coin Club to Hold January Meeting -- "60th Anniversary Coin Show Set for Feb. 6 The South Hills Coin Club will hold ..." -- 04 January 2021
Rostraver Sportsmen Meeting Set for January 18 -- "The Rostraver Sportsmen located at 539 Cedar Creek Rd. in Belle Vernon, Pa. ..." -- 04 January 2021
Peters Township Parks and Recreation Department ... -- "The Peters Township Parks and Recreation Department is offering a variety of ..." -- 04 January 2021
South Hills Friends of the Montour Trail News -- "The January meeting of the South Hills Friends of the Montour Trail will be ..." -- 04 January 2021
Fayette and Washington Counties Receive Broadband ... -- "Internet providers in Fayette and Washington counties, represented by Rep. Bud ..." -- 04 January 2021
NEWS FROM THE DONORA HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND SMOG ... -- "The Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum was contacted recently by Cynthia ..." -- 04 January 2021
‘Clothes 4U’ Ministry in Belle Vernon to Remain ... -- "The ‘Clothes 4U’ ministry of the First United Methodist Church, 200 ..." -- 04 January 2021
Businesses Partner with The Challenge Program, ... -- "For the 2020-2021 school year, numerous local businesses, representing a ..." -- 04 January 2021
CCAC To Hold Virtual Open House on Saturday, ... -- "The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) will host a Virtual Open House ..." -- 04 January 2021

Local People

With conversations around healthcare in the national spotlight, many people are surprised to learn nearly 40% of the U.S. population has a chronic illness. Many patients, like the 3.1 million Americans with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), feel ostracized by uncomfortable and even taboo symptoms. But one local woman is brave enough to share her story and inspire over 2 million people.

Sydney Baciak

Two years ago, Sydney Baciak was like any other teenager. She socialized with friends and was an athlete at Belle Vernon High School. Then everything changed.

“I was having such scary symptoms, I was afraid to tell my parents,” Baciak said.

After three months and multiple tests, she received a life-changing diagnosis: ulcerative colitis, a form of IBD. There is no cure. Over the next couple of years, Baciak felt isolated and hopeless, with missed high school milestones, hospitalizations and failed treatments.

Today, after three surgeries to manage the disease, Baciak is ready to tell her story as an “IBD warrior.” Facing the “you don’t look sick” stigma and often embarrassing symptoms head on, she created a TikTok video to inspire others. The response was overwhelming.

“When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t know anyone with IBD – I hadn’t even heard of it,” Baciak said. “Once I started sharing my story, so many people reached out to tell me about their experiences with IBD and other illnesses. I didn’t realize how many people were suffering in silence.”

Baciak now advocates for fellow patients and leads a team for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Take Steps national walk to fund research for IBD treatments.

“IBD can be painful and isolating,” Baciak said. “I know it can be embarrassing to talk about these illnesses, but we need to raise awareness and support our fellow IBD warriors to someday find a cure.”




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