The officials called the runners to the starting line for section three of the men’s mile at the MPSF Indoor Championships. One by one, they lined up according to hip number, each wearing their respective school’s singlet.
Underneath his Cal singlet, Collin Jarvis wore an ileostomy bag, meant to hold bodily waste, attached to his small intestine.
He has no colon.
He hadn't raced in two years.
In the fall of 2013, Jarvis was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, a disease of the large intestine or colon where the organ becomes inflamed and develops ulcers. It was a diagnosis that changed Jarvis’ life forever.
“I was a different person, I looked like a little saggy grey skeleton, just not a pretty sight,” Jarvis said.
In the fall of 2014, he was able to slowly resume running again, with an ileostomy bag attached to his side. Instead of using the bathroom normally, Jarvis’ body produces waste that empties into the ileostomy bag. Doctors informed him that while he would be able to jog again, he would never compete at the level he once did.
He didn’t accept that prognosis.