Ben

Ben had recently moved down to London for work when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 18. When people commented that he didn’t look healthy, he went to the doctor, who was shocked he was still standing. At 8½ stone, Ben was taken straight to hospital.

Ben didn’t take his Crohn’s seriously at first. He didn’t know much about the condition and didn’t feel like he could talk to his friends about it. He wanted to feel normal and tried to fit in with his friends but paid the consequences.

Ben worries that his condition affects how his children see him. “My son sees me as this big strong gym-going man, not someone in a toilet, crying and in pain. He shouldn’t be looking after me, I should be looking after him.”

Ben is constantly being told “but you look fine” – even by medical professionals. Statements like these make him question his own illness.

Ben is raising awareness so that people start taking this condition more seriously. He feels that having the Not Every Disability is Visible signs can help people understand that you can “look well” and still be in desperate need of an accessible toilet.