Clinical Trial Volunteer Story: Holden (Crohn’s disease)

On the surface, Holden looks like the typical ten-year-old boy — soccer jersey, blonde hair and blue eyes, even freckles. But spend some time with him and you will realize that he is dealing with a chronic illness, Crohn’s disease, that makes his life anything but ordinary.

Ten-year-old Holden was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 5.

Lauren Frohne, a UNC graduate student, undertook a photojournalism project chronicling Holden at home, at school and at UNC hospitals, where he is participating in a clinical trial. His mother says Holden feels much better since joining the trial and has gained the confidence to go to school and get back on the soccer field.

“I was very skeptical about doing a clinical trial,” she says. “My other option was to watch my son get more and more sick. I decided this was a risk I was willing to take, and it is a risk I would take over and over again, to have my child healthy and happy.”

Living with a chronic illness would be a burden for any patient, but can be particularly difficult for children.

A clinical trial led by UNC researchers affiliated with NC TraCS is helping one young patient with Crohn’s disease do what kids do best: be a kid. Since enrolling in a clinical trial, Holden Frohne is back to playing soccer — his passion — and laughing with his friends.

Source: NIH