Natalie Hayden

Advocate For Crohn's disease

Meet Natalie!

Formerly a news anchor and reporter, Natalie (Sparacio) Hayden was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in July 2005, two months after graduating with a journalism degree from Marquette University. She didn't allow her disease to rob her of all she had worked toward, so she began her career three months after diagnosis and ventured 8 hours away from all family and friends to work at an ABC affiliate in Minnesota, while on 22 pills a day.

When Natalie left the news desk in 2014 after working at television stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, she decided it was time to share her patient journey publicly in order to be the voice she desperately needed to hear upon diagnosis and through her career, finding love, and starting a family. Through her award-winning blog, Lights, Camera, Crohn's, she shares stories and experiences about everything from overcoming struggles to celebrating small victories. Since the blog's launch in July 2016, she's shared nearly 400 articles on her site alone. As an IBD mom of three, she's passionate about helping women with IBD navigate everything from the family planning process to pregnancy and motherhood.

Along with her blog, Natalie is on the Advisory Board for IBD Moms, a member of Janssen's Patient Engagement Research Council, an active participant of IBD Social Circle, and on the Social Health Network's Patient Leadership Council. Natalie has been featured by Women's Health Magazine, Prevention Magazine, CBS This Morning, The Wall Street Journal, WebMD, and several other publications and podcasts as a trusted voice in the IBD community. She's a writer and contributor for many digital healthcare sites and enjoys being a volunteer and spokesperson for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association. In October 2022, she received the "Community Cultivator Award" from the Social Health Network for her extensive work bringing the IBD patient community together.


Natalie Sparacio Hayden

Crohn's disease

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