by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
An 11-year-old boy is using his personal experience to educate people in Charlotte about Crohn's disease.
He'll be honored Saturday at a walk raising awareness about the disease.
Anthony Sullivan, known to his friends as "Ant," is often at his favorite place -- the baseball field.
He said even though he's still getting used to living with Crohn's disease, he won't let it slow him down.
"I just go out there and play and I can just be like everybody else,” he said.
In 2012, Anthony was diagnosed with Crohn's, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.
"It makes my stomach hurt a lot, and sometimes I really don't feel good,” Anthony said.
He said it was rough at first because he and his family didn't know a lot about the disease, but his mom encouraged him not to be embarrassed and to share his diagnosis with a friend.
"His friends took it so well and he didn't make fun of it, and he wasn't embarrassed because of it, and he said, ‘You know what, I’ll tell my class now,’” mother Lucretia Sullivan said. “Then it almost snowballed, it was his baseball team, then his class."
Anthony enjoys speaking out. Last year, he formed a team to walk in the Charlotte Take Steps walk to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.
This year, Anthony is the honorary hero for the walk Saturday, where he says they're walking to make a difference for people just like him.
"When you get it, it's just you don't know anything, but hopefully we can make it so when you get it, you know other people that have it, and you can talk to them and it's just a lot easier,” he said.
For more information on the walk, click here.