Leylah Oliphant knows how to find the silver lining. Crohn’s disease might have sidelined her for a little while, but a change in perspective reinvigorated her dreams to pursue fashion design and styling. Here, we talk to her about growing up with Crohn’s and how she’s turned a negative into a positive. Interview edited for length and clarity.
Where do you go to school and what will you study?
I just finished community college and got accepted into the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), so I’ll be starting there in September and plan to study business economics. I’d like to start a business to help others – so maybe a fashion line for people with disabilities, something of that nature.
What inspires you to help others?
I have an inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease to be more specific. I was diagnosed at age 6, and I think part of my motivation in life, in school and for my career comes from me having Crohn’s disease. It makes me want to help others because I went through such a hard time as a kid, I want to help other kids realize that they’re not alone.