Javicz Jones Battles Crohn’s Disease; Becomes Iowa Barnstormers Great

While Javicz Jones was on a college visit, he got sick. Jones couldn’t keep food down, and couldn’t remember any details of his visit during his second day on the campus.

He was rushed to a hospital, where he stayed for a week, lost 25 pounds and found out he had Crohn’s disease. Now that he has overcome it, he is an Iowa Barnstormers superstar.

Javicz Jones Battles Crohn’s Disease; Becomes Iowa Barnstormers Star

Iowa Barnstormers linebacker Javicz Jones, like most professional football players, started his career as a young kid. Starting in sixth grade, Jones noticed his stomach would start hurting terribly right before football games.

“My mom and I thought that I was just super nervous,” Jones said.

However, it turned out to be something different.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Jones had Crohn’s disease, but he didn’t know it yet.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammatory digestive track.

“[I can’t eat] food like seeds, acidic foods, or dairy,” Jones said. “You can start to feel your stomach get to that point.”

Jones calls that point a flair-up.

“When I have a flair-up, there is a sharp pain in the right side of my stomach,” He said. “It feels like somebody is stabbing me.”

The week in the hospital

During his senior year of high school, Javicz visited the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with a few of his friends.

After they toured the campus during the first day of the visit, they provided dinner for all of the prospects.

“We ate chicken-fried steak,” Jones said. “That’s what they cooked when they wanted to keep the recruits happy.”

However, later that night, Javicz started getting sick.

“All of it came back out,” He said. “I knew something wasn’t right.”

The next day, Jones continued his visit, but he wasn’t his usual, energetic self.

“I was [still] sick,” Jones said. “I couldn’t even remember anything about the college.”

Jones and his mother rushed home, and went to the emergency room.

When he arrived at the ER, Jones weighed 185 lbs. By the time he left, he was 160 lbs.

After a week of tests, doctors found out Jones had Crohn’s disease and immediately started looking for medicines.

While the doctors were looking for medicine, they had Jones swallow a camera to figure out where the disease started and stopped.

It got stuck, and he would be forced to have surgery.

Although, ever since then, Jones hasn’t had any major encounters with the disease.

“I’m very blessed to have it tamed,” Jones said. “I’ve had great doctors, I’ve had colonoscopies, and I’ve been flair-up free since 2008.”

Jones Becoming One of Iowa’s Best

Jones never went back for another visit at Mary Hardin-Baylor. Instead he committed to the school, where he continued his football career.

There Jones not only one the conference’s male athlete of the year award, but also was honored with being the D3football.com National Defensive player of the year.

After playing with the Texas Revolution for a year after college, Jones became a Barnstormer.

In each of his three seasons with Iowa, Jones has lead the team in tackles per game. This season, he is earning 9.2 tackles per game, which also leads the league.

Jones has helped Iowa to an 8-2 record, the team’s best start to a season since 1996.

This Saturday, the Barnstormers will host Crohn’s and Colitis night as they take on the Cedar Rapids Titans.

50 percent of the ticket sales will go to the Nebraska-Iowa Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation.

“If you look at me, you may think [Crohn’s disease] is nothing,” Jones said. “But it’s very serious.”

Saturday’s game at the Wells Fargo Arena kicks off at 7:05 p.m. CT.

Main Photo Credit: Connor Ferguson, Last Word on Sports