September 30th, 2011
11:32 AM ET

Human Factor: 'American Idol's' Casey Abrams on life with a digestive disease

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, "American Idol" contestant Casey Abrams shares his story about his struggles with the chronic digestive disease, ulcerative colitis.

Every time I perform on the big stage, I think about that little college freshman who never thought he’d play his bass and sing for people again.

Before my music career even started, I almost had to give it all up. Millions watched me on TV and got to know me as a performer. What most people don’t know is that way before I performed with Jack Black, kissed J. Lo or got the judges’ one and only save, I was a college freshman studying what I love most - music - when I started having major health issues.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.