My husband was diagnosed with Crohn's when we were dating...he was 23.
For years, he took Prednisone when he had flare-ups, but being on this drug long-term is very bad for a body.
Remecaid was a miracle drug for him. When we lived in South Florida, our HMO paid the entire bill, so we didn't have a clue as to the cost.
Unfortunately, when we moved to north FL and our insurance changed, we didn't know we would have to pay 20%. What a shock! He'd had two treatments before the bills started rolling in, and it took us a year to pay them off.
We made the decision not to continue with the treatments because of the cost. We just couldn't run ourselves into the ground while still having a lot of other financial obligations.
He now takes Pentasa as a "maintenance" drug. It has not had any side affects and seems to keep the Crohn's in check. It's been years since my dh has had a flare-up that required hospitilization.
Oh, and one other thing. Surgery does not cure Crohn's. The disease will usually flare up in one area of the intestines. If you cut that section out, Crohn's will usually return in a different area. My dh has always refused surgery. He figures he'll just continue to suffer from the other stuff...always having to go to the bathroom, stomach aches...
My heart goes out to your dh's cousin. Crohn's is not a fun disease to live with.