Meet the Staff

Brooke Bogdan
Founder, Editor-in-Chief

Brooke was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in April of 2012. After many months of misdiagnosis and undiagnosed parasites, she was determinately diagnosed with pancolitis in October 2012. She suffered immensely with colitis until July 2013, when she had her colon removed urgently at the Cleveland Clinic. Brooke completed the 3 step surgery process in February of 2014 and is now living a healthy life with a j-pouch.

Brooke graduated with honors from Otterbein University in June 2011 with a degree in public relations. She currently maintains her own blog about her life with IBD called, “Fierce and Flared,” at

Brooke came up with the idea of Companion Magazine when she found it inspiring and helpful to read about others journey’s with IBD. It helped her relate and cope with her diagnosis and she knew that she wanted to help people in a fun, creative way. She hopes to continue Companion Magazine so that it can help and inspire people with inflammatory bowel disease all over the world!

Kristin Williams
Graphic Designer, Editor


Kristin was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2007 and after fighting a long battle in and out of remission, she bravely decided to have her colon removed in October of 2013. Kristin completed her 3 step surgery series at the Cleveland Clinic in August of 2014.

Kristin graduated from the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in visual arts. She is a very talented artist and designer and has found that art is an excellent outlet for her.

Kristin designs all of the visuals and graphics for Companion Magazine and currently maintains her own blog at Kristin also has a passion for helping others with IBD and hopes to continue to inspire readers with her motivational story and art!

Rasheed Clarke
Contributing Editor

Rasheed Clarke was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2008, and had his colon removed in 2013. In between, he graduated from the University of Toronto and authored a book of short stories about living with inflammatory bowel disease, titled, Three Tablets Twice Daily. Now the proud owner of a J-pouch (a.k.a. pelvic pouch), he works as a communications coordinator and freelance writer, and volunteers with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. Rasheed enjoys running, soccer, design, and starting conversations about IBD with those who have never heard of it.

Now the proud owner of a J-pouch (a.k.a. pelvic pouch), he works as a communications coordinator and freelance writer, and volunteers with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. Rasheed enjoys running, soccer, design, and starting conversations about IBD with those who have never heard of it.

Gaylyn Henderson
Staff Contributor, Fashion Editor

Gaylyn was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in November of 1998. In 2008 she received a temporary ileostomy and in 2011 it was made permanent. For over a decade it has been a never ending roller coaster of feelings and emotions, learning to cope with and accept living with a chronic illness.

Despite life’s struggles, Gaylyn graduated from Benedict College Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and from the University of South Carolina Magna Cum Laude with a Masters of Public Health.

Gaylyn will serve as the Ostomy and Fashion Advisor for Companion IBD.  Gaylyn has her own blog at Gaylyn aims to make a difference and improve the lives of others dealing with not only IBD but others living with an ostomy. Her aim is to encourage young women and men to embrace their ostomy through her blog and now with Companion IBD.

Emma Chapple
Staff Contributor, Beauty/Lifestyle Editor

Emma was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2007, when she was thirteen years old.  What began as a mild case soon turned severe in 2009, and Emma spent the next three years in and out of the hospital.  In 2011 – three days before her 17th birthday – she was given an ileostomy.

Emma is a journalist-turned-law student and thinks it’s safe to call herself an illness advocate as well.  She wants to take her negative experience and use it to help other young adults living with IBD.  After balancing a recurrence of her disease and a long recovery from surgery with a demanding college schedule, Emma thinks she knows a bit about life in the Crohn’s lane.

Through her work with Companion Magazine and her blog, My Beautiful Messy Life, Emma aims to give honest and sassy advice on how to deal with a not-so-glamorous disease.


Add Yours
  1. 1
    Lisa Burwell

    I would love to receive your ibdcompanion magazine.
    I’m not on Facebook or Twitter.
    Can I still get sent to me through email?
    I have Crohn’s disease and have read some of your posts.
    Very positive for IBD ers!
    Please let me know-
    Lisa Burwell

  2. 2

    Hi Lisa!
    Sure, we are also working on a way to have our readers able to order hard copies as well. Email me at [email protected] if you would like for me to let you know when this is available. We are hoping to have it up ASAP! Until then, you can view the current issues of Companion under the “issues of Companion” header on the website! Thanks!

  3. 3
    Tammy Flechtner

    I am recovery room nurse at Aultman hospital in canton. A very wonderful surgeon, Dr. Bogdan, told me about this site. :) I thought I should check it out. Looks cool! I just recovered from part one of my J-pouch creation surgery (total colectomy), and returned to work 3 days ago. Feeling great!

  4. 4

    Hi Tammy!
    I am so happy to hear that you are feeling good :) I know how rough the first surgery can be! Awesome to hear you getting back on your feet! Thanks for visiting and I’m glad my dad was finally able to direct you to our magazine, haha! If you ever have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]!

  5. 5
    Therese Ferguson

    I was diagnosed at the age of 4, 1977. Had my colon removed when I was 15. How nice it would have been as a teenager especially to have access to youthful perspective about UC as my ideas about confidence, body image and dating were forming. Great work!

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