11/04/2015 01:28 EST | Updated 11/04/2015 01:59 EST

Man's Post On Living With Crohn's Disease, An 'Invisible Illnesses', Goes Viral

Ste Walker

If there's one thing Stephen "Ste" Walker wants people to know, it's that you should never judge a book by its cover.

In a Facebook post that has now gone viral, the 24-year-old U.K. man posted an honest description of what it's like living with Crohn's disease.

"People are too quick to judge these days, just because I look normal and speak normal, that doesn't mean I don't have a major disability.... to look at me I look like any normal guy my age, but that's because I want you to view me like that....look a bit closer tho, or ask me questions, and you will soon realize that I have a major illness," he writes.

People are too quick to judge these days, just because I look normal and speak normal, that doesn't mean I don't have a...

Posted by Ste Walker on Sunday, October 25, 2015

Walker has a Hickman line, a catheter that is situated in his chest, the Today show notes, which is used to deliver his medications. He also has a tube in his nose to drain his stomach and a colostomy bag to collect waste.

"Invisible illnesses need more awareness… everyone knows about cancer, but not every knows about Crohn's," Walker told the site. "I think the world needed to see it and the world needed to be taught, that I am a person, I have feelings."

Crohn's disease causes inflammation anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, but is often in the lower part of the small bowel and colon. People who have Crohn's can experience painful and swollen skin tags, abscesses (bags of pus caused by infections) and fistulas, according to Crohn's and Colitis Canada.

In Canada, the number of new cases of Crohn’s disease has doubled in the last 10 years, the organization notes, and 1 in every 150 Canadians live with either Crohn's or colitis.

As suggested in his Facebook post, which now has over 34,000 likes, Walker says he has a scar that runs along his chest and has had three surgeries over the last two years.

"The next time someone says to me 'well you look perfectly fine, why are you using that disabled toilet, or parking in that disabled spot, you're conning the system, you're not disabled, you don't need that walking stick'.... just stop and think maybe I just want TO BE FINE or to feel normal," Walker writes.

Check out his full post here.


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