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Tahlia Giumelli reveals her private battle with Crohn’s

“Crohn’s disease doesn’t stop me. In fact, it motivates me to achieve anything."

MISS Universe Australia finalist Tahlia Giumelli had to reveal her private battle to her new boyfriend, Rabbitohs star Tom Burgess, before they began dating.

Giumelli, who will compete for the prestigious crown in Bali in June, lives with Crohn’s disease, which she has battling since 2013.

The 24-year-old has been dating Burgess for six months and revealed she told him about her life-changing condition before they hit off their romance.

The Cronulla beauty said it was not hard to tell Burgess and that her entire family also suffers from the condition.

“I’m pretty honest and this is something I wouldn’t hide. Tom was really understanding,” she said.

“He’s been a good support through and through from the beginning — he’s always encouraging me.

“He’s amazing.”

Giumelli has had to make huge life changes including completely revamping her diet.

“I can’t have anything high in fibre or fructose,” she said.

“No onion, no garlic, no mushrooms — the hardest is no red meat or avocado. I love avocado.”

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease. According to Crohn’s & Colitis Australia, inflammation in the colon, rectum and gastrointestinal tract can become so severe that sufferers need to be hospitalised and can require surgery.

Giumelli said she was grateful because her illness could have been “so much worse”.

“I have little unexpected bouts here and there — it does worry me — but I want to show people there is no good excuse to stop you to do what you want to do. Not just Crohn’s but with anything,” she said.

Giumelli fell sick during a trip to Germany when she was 20 years old.

“I got quite ill. I couldn’t walk and I couldn’t eat,” she said.

Today, Giumelli has shrugged off the stigmatised condition after she was announced as the ambassador and face of Crohn’s & Colitis Australia.

“Crohn’s disease doesn’t stop me. In fact, it motivates me to achieve anything,” she said.

“I hope to raise awareness and educate people about IBD and encourage those who suffer from this illness to live fearless and don’t let anything stop you from doing or achieving what you want.

“Maybe one day we can find a solution to this awful disease. In the meantime I hope to encourage everyone of all ages to live their life to their fullest. I’m incredibly lucky to have an amazing team of specialists who have allowed me to live my life and have worked with me on this journey.”

Read Rabbitohs star Tom Burgess’ Miss Universe girlfriend’s private battle: ‘Tom was really understanding’ by Soraiya Fuda.

Posted on: March 30 2020

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