My name is Ricky Springer, and I am 10 years old. I was born with eosinophilic colitis, a rare disease where eosinophils (white blood cells) attack my colon and cause inflammation and damage, triggered by food and other things. I suffered in horrible pain for the first two years of my life because 18 different doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me. Thankfully, my Mom figured out a possible cause on the Internet.
After I was diagnosed, I was required to stop eating ALL food and get my nutrition from an elements formula, through a feeding tube. It took two years for the inflammation to go away and the damage to heal. Then I got to try one new food, every three months, followed by an endoscopy and colonoscopy to make sure my body was not reacting to the food.
It has been almost nice years since I was diagnosed. Today I am doing very well, as long as I don’t come in contact with foods that trigger my eosinophilic colitis.
Because of what I went through, I wanted to try to help other people who were living with this disease, but couldn’t get an accurate diagnosis. In 2009, I started using my dirt track go-kart racing to create awareness of eosinophilic disorders. Since then, my program, Racing for a Cause (under APFED), has educated close to six million people around the world about these diseases.
I am lucky that I am well enough now to make a difference for other people.