Swapna Kakani was diagnosed at birth with a rare chronic disease, Short Bowel Syndrome. For 27 years, Swapna has lived with supplemental intravenous nutrition and a feeding tube (from 0-24 she had a gastrostomy tube and from 24 onwards she has had an ileostomy). She has undergone several surgeries at multiple hospitals throughout the United States.
In 2012, she made the difficult decision to have her dysfunctional bowel removed and as a result, was not able to eat solid food for almost 3 years. In spite of this, she loves to cook for her family and friends, calling herself a true “foodie,” and has become well-versed in nutrition. This lifelong battle with chronic illness has also led Swapna to become a passionate advocate and public speaker, raising awareness about the experience of life as a patient and overcoming personal adversity.
Check out a few highlights from our exclusive interview with Swapna below!