When Zal Press was 29 years old, he went to the hospital with a pain in his gut that felt like he had “a cat trapped in [his] stomach trying to claw its way out.
“A doctor came up to me as I was lying in the hospital and he says to me, ‘Mr. Press, you have a serious illness. You have Crohn’s disease,’ ” Press recalls. “I couldn’t even spell Crohn’s, I had never heard of it. All I wanted was a pill so I could get on with my life.”
Thirty years later, Press has moved on with his life, but he certainly hasn’t forgotten about Crohn’s. About two years ago, he set off on a journey to try and get involved in changing the Canadian health-care system and the way patients perceive chronic illness.
“I became attracted to patient advocacy and patient empowerment and this whole new movement of this educated, informed, Internet-aware patient who’s engaged in their own health care,” he says.
Last year, after giving up a successful art business, Press started Patient Commando, a theatre production company that uses storytelling and humour to empower patients. The company’s debut production is a performance of Cancer Can’t Dance Like This, [...] continue the story