After she was diagnosed seven years ago with Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that is recognized by an overactive immune response leading to chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, Jamie Harris’s life has been greatly altered. “The biggest challenge has been receiving my infusion treatments at the UCSD John Moore’s Cancer Center every six weeks,” said Jamie. “Not only is it physically and emotionally draining, each treatment takes about four hours and is not a cure for the disease.” But Jamie has not only learned to live with the disease, she has learned to take control of her health, becoming her own advocate as a patient and for others affected by the disease.
Jamie was born and raised in San Diego and has lived in PQ her whole life. “I met my husband when we were eight years old,” recalled Jamie. “We grew up together and went to elementary, middle, and high school together.” Jamie and her husband Nick reconnected after college and married in 2012. “We knew we wanted to raise our family in the same community,” shared Jamie. “We love the school district and the convenience of being around everything.”
Shortly into their newlywed life, the couple was told by doctors that they only had a 10 percent chance of conceiving; but, despite the odds, Jamie and Nick were able to get pregnant. “Our miracle daughter was born a little after midnight on Christmas Day in 2015,” gushed Jamie.
Name: Jamie Nangpi Harris
Profession: Stay-at-Home Mom/Substitute Teacher
Community: Carmel Mountain Ranch since 2013
Hobbies & Interests: Traveling the world (31 countries and counting!), dance, dressing up our Goldendoodle Teddy, going to the farmer’s market, exploring San Diego, trying new restaurants, hanging out with family and friends
Favorite Local Spots: Mostra Coffee, Quartyard Dog Park
Before her job as a stay-at-home mom, Jamie worked as a teacher – first at her alma mater, Mt. Carmel High School, and later at Stone Ranch and Midland Elementary School.
Today, Jamie lends a lot of her time to Take Steps, a fundraising event for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America that supports the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) community. “I wasn’t going to let this disease ruin my life and wanted others who were suffering to know they were not alone,” said Jamie. “Take Steps empowers patients and provides a safe and welcoming environment to connect and inspire one another.”
“I have fulfilled my dream of becoming a teacher, wife, and mother and did not let this disease run my life.”
This year, Jamie was named Honored Hero for Take Steps. “It was an amazing experience!” she exclaimed about receiving the honor. “I feel like I got to tell people my story and the long and rough journey of this disease. It was a great opportunity to spread awareness from a patient’s point of view.”
In her free time, Jamie loves to travel; she has been to 31 countries and has no plans of slowing down. She was recently named Mrs. Philippines CA USA at the 15th Annual Philippine Independence Grand Ball, hosted by the National Asian American Coalition. “I have fulfilled my dream of becoming a teacher, wife, and mother and did not let this disease run my life,” stated Jamie. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is to never let go of your dreams and to be strong.”