10 Celebrities Living with Crohn’s Disease

As per recent research by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), more than three million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease and celebrities are not an exception to this chronic condition. Crohn’s disease is a chronic autoimmune disease which attacks your digestive tract and the small intestine; in particular. This leads to severe gastrointestinal health conditions like abdominal cramps, pain and diarrhoea. This disease is most common among teenagers and young adults, but others may develop this inflammatory disease as well. The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are weight loss, fatigue and fever.

Celebrities are human beings too and hence, they are not immune from Crohn's disease. Some of them have taken steps to use their fame as a platform to advocate for proper care and cure for Crohn's disease. Famous individuals like actors, singers, comedians, athletes, news anchors etc. have dealt with this painful inflammatory bowel disease and here is the list of 10 celebrities who have coped with Crohn's disease. Some of their activism may help others to cope with this health condition.

1. Peter Davidson, Comedian

Davidson has been quite vocal about his struggles with Crohn's disease since he was 17 years old. People have often noticed an inflammation around his eyes which might be a side effect of Crohn's disease. The Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member tried a range of medications but ultimately resorted to smoking marijuana to settle his stomach enough to eat and perform on his show. Researchers suggested that the cannabinoids in marijuana may have helped Davidson to restore the microbial balance which is lost due to inflamed guts. The research on mice showed this effect and highlighted the use of marijuana as a possible solution for the future. Studies are still in progress to prove the same.

2. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

Eisenhower was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1956 and had to go for surgery six months before his re-election bid. The former U.S. President and Army general has surgery to remove a section of his small intestine as the symptoms of Crohn's disease caused some blockages in the small intestine. President "Ike" who was also the supreme commander of the Allied forces during World War II won a second term despite his public battle with heart problems and Crohn's disease.

3. Kathleen Baker, Olympic Swimmer

Baker suffered from stomach cramps, severe weight loss and nausea as she was diagnosed with Crohn's. This 12-year-old national champion made it through the obstacles and earned the silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke swimming competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Furthermore, she also helped Team USA to get a gold medal in the "4×100" medley relay and made a world record in the 100-meter backstroke swimming. She took the help of some doctors to overcome Crohn's and strongly advocate finding the best doctor to treat the symptoms of this autoimmune disorder.

4. Mike McCready, Guitarist

McCready has been the lead guitarist for Pearl Jam and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 21. He has had many on-stage accidents due to symptoms of Crohn's disease, but he decided to overcome the same rather than quit. He changed his lifestyle and adopted a healthier lifestyle to deal with the disease. In addition to this, his bandmates supported him to cope with Crohn's. The guitarist hosts an annual benefit concert in Seattle, Washington for Crohn's research as Seattle is his hometown.

5. Aerial Hull (Big Swole), Wrestler

Independent wrestler Aerial Hull who is popularly known as Big Swole released a statement on her Twitter page in 2021 to describe her battle against Crohn's disease. As it was the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, she wrote that she was suggested to discontinue her medicine for Crohn's as it may interact with Covid-19 circumstances and result in death.

Crohn's disease attacked her body as a whole and she felt discomfort in bending the joints as many of her body parts would lock up. Thankfully, with the help of her doctors, she was able to correctly diagnose and control the disease before appearing in the inaugural All Out professional wrestling event.

6. Cynthia McFadden, News Anchor

McFadden who has been an NBC News Correspondent first experienced the pain of Crohn's in her sophomore year of college. She had to remove 15 feet of the intestine after she suffered from internal bleeding in 1979. She has worked with the CCFA to raise awareness about the disease. She has documented her journey with Crohn's disease in the form of recording radio public service announcements.

7. David Garrad, National Football League (NFL) Quarterback

Garrad had his first bout with Crohn's disease while watching TV in 2004 and a year later he had to remove a portion of his intestines. He had stomach pains after meals which he initially believed were just stomach bugs and did not consult a doctor for three months. However, after extreme weight loss, he went to the healthcare provider to get tested and was diagnosed with Crohn's. He has raised money for the CCFA and also established David Garrard Foundation to help young children suffering from Crohn's.

8. Jimmy Davidson (MrBeast), Youtuber

Davidson has 92.4 million subscribers and he has been open about his struggles with Crohn's. He has spoken about his weight loss due to Crohn's and how dietary changes helped him regulate his symptoms. Donaldson has also made videos about his life with Crohn's disease for teenagers who may have doubts about their symptoms of Crohn's. Through his videos, he has also enlightened the viewers about his experience using the drug Remicade to help treat the symptoms.

9. Mike Hadreas (Perfume Genius), Singer

Hadreas has spoken about how he dealt with Crohn's disease for over a decade and how his disease flared up during the Covid-19 pandemic. The symptoms of Crohn’s have always taken a toll on his physical as well as mental health. He has also written many songs exploring the limitations a person may have to encounter with Crohn's disease.

While the world was struggling with Covid-19, Hadreas had to deal with Crohn's as the symptoms flared up and he experienced difficulties while making his fifth album titled 'Set My Heart on Fire Immediately'.

10. Kevin Dineen, Ice Hockey Coach

This former ice hockey player and current head coach of the Utica Comets in the American Hockey League experienced serious and constant stomach pain when he returned from a vacation after his second National Hockey League season. He was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1987 and that was a real eye-opening experience for him.

Dineen has been hospitalised many times because of the flare-ups, but that didn't stop him from pursuing his professional career. He took the help of a healthy diet and brought his symptoms under control. He has had a successful 19-year-long career and has always advocated on behalf of the CCFA.


Reading stories of these celebrities who suffered from Crohn's disease and yet prevailed gives hope to keep fighting. It also reminds us that we need to move forward, continue to find a way to remain positive and accomplish our goals like these famous individuals. Many people might be suffering from Crohn's disease and so instead of keeping it to themselves; they should not delay in seeking medical help and voicing out their concerns.

Updated on: 24-Mar-2023


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