BOB BANCROFT: Is that our ball? ALEX BANCROFT: Yeah.
BOB BANCROFT: Alex is not your typical nine-year old.
SPEAKER 1: Good job, buddy. What is it, 8-4?
SPEAKER 2: Alex!
BOB BANCROFT: He's very loving. He's very caring. He's concerned about others.
SPEAKER 3: Great shot.
SPEAKER 1: That was in your eye, bro!
BOB BANCROFT: His friends are everything to him, and his family's more.
Don't ever call me a grown-up again. [INAUDIBLE].
You know, this whole time that he's been sick, he's never once complained. He's never once said, why me.
Him and I have talked a lot about people out there that have it a lot worse than he does.
BOB BANCROFT: I think I got it. Oh!
Alex has Crohn's disease. And basically, what it does is it infects his digestive tract. It just destroys your body. It's emotional, many sleepless nights, especially when he's not doing particularly well. There's so much that constantly sits in your head about the what-ifs. When you have a child that has a disease, those what-ifs are a reality.
I give him a shot once a week of methotrexate, and he just takes it all in stride.
SPEAKER 4: He wants to hold his hand.
ALEX BANCROFT: Christian, come here.
SPEAKER 4: Go hold buddy's hand. There you go. OK.
BOB BANCROFT: OK. Lean up a little. Ready? You OK?
ALEX BANCROFT: Yup.
BOB BANCROFT: We went to Weill Cornell, and we met Dr. Ciecierega. He had mentioned to us that he's part of a research team trying to find a cure for Crohn's, which got my wife digging into more of what Weill Cornell does. And the more we read, the more we learn, the more impressed we become.
NEERA GUPTA: Hi. Hi. Are you Alex?
ALEX BANCROFT: Yes.
NEERA GUPTA: It's so nice to meet you.
ALEX BANCROFT: You too.
NEERA GUPTA: Thank you for doing our study.
ALEX BANCROFT: You're welcome.
BOB BANCROFT: Crohn's patients are known to have a slower growth rate. Right now, he's a little smaller than most of his friends.
NEERA GUPTA: Now his bone age was seven.
BOB BANCROFT: Dr. Gupta is looking into why growth problems are more common in boys with Crohn's than with girls who have the same disease. Understanding why could lead to better treatment for boys and girls with Chron's. When Dr. Gupta's study came about, Dr. C told us this had Alex written all over it.
NEERA GUPTA: Does that make sense?
SPEAKER 4: Yeah.
BOB BANCROFT: I hope and pray for those people that are doing the research that they have a great day at work. I really do.
They've had a calling to go and try to fix one thing at a time. I would love to read my e-mail one day from Weill Cornell and say, we've hit the jackpot. And not just for my son, but for every child, every person that has Crohn's, or IBD, or colitis, or anything that affects them in that way. When I have somebody like Dr. Gupta who was willing to take the time, not just to get to know my son, but to work with him to figure out what is the bone issue with Crohn's patients--
NEERA GUPTA: Do you have any questions about what I just said, Alex? Because I know you're listening. OK.
BOB BANCROFT: --it gives me high hopes because they're not just sitting back saying, let's see what happens. They're taking that bold initiative and stepping forward.
So we just got to keep track of what's going on with your bones.
ALEX BANCROFT: All right.
BOB BANCROFT: It's difficult to not know what tomorrow brings for your son. And my hope is that he can just grow old. He can live his life and that he'll just grow old. As a family, we take today. Whatever today brings us is what we deal with. And we'll worry about tomorrow when it gets here.
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Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, Alex Bancroft is not your typical 9-year-old boy. But with the help of Weill Cornell Medicine physicians Drs. Thomas Ciecierega and Neera Gupta, Alex and his parents have reasons to be optimistic about the future.