July 30, 2012 12:00 PM


Ken Baumann was busy preparing for his wedding to actress Aviva Farber this past winter when he was suddenly overcome by intense pain in his leg and abdomen. Over the course of a month, “it got gradually worse,” says the Secret Life of the American Teenager star. In the ER doctors discovered a life-threatening abscess in his leg and a tear in his intestines. The cause? Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease that can damage the intestines. Facing major surgery, “I made my mom and my wife-to-be sit down with me, and we talked about what would happen if I died,” Baumann recalls. “I’d never been afraid of death, but that was tough.” Dropping to a “terrifyingly skinny” 108 lbs. after his surgery, Baumann had to fight his way back to a healthy weight (with the help of his mom’s banana bread). Now his symptoms are under control, and he gives his new wife credit: “You could throw anything at me,” the actor says. “I know that I’ve got Aviva.”

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