|Dear Friends and Family,
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS DONATED OR PRAYED FOR US OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS. THE RACE WENT GREAT AND IF YOU STILL WANT TO DONATE IT'S NEVER TOO LATE. WE STILL HAVEN'T FOUND A CURE. I'LL BE POSTING AN UPDATE ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE AND SENDING OUT AN EMAIL TO EVERYONE, SO LOOK THERE FOR A UPDATE ON THE RUN. LOVE ALL OF YOU SO MUCH AND HAYDEN AND ALL OF US APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!
Last year, I ran my first ever half marathon as part of Team Challenge, an endurance program that supports the CCFA (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America). Although I still do not “like” running, the entire experience was one of the best of my life and it is one that I am pumped about doing again this year on Dec 2nd in Las Vegas. Best of all, I am team fund raising this year with my sister Missy (Not only Hayden’s Aunt, but his Biggest Fan!) and we will be running the race together. I also hope to have a couple other friends running this year as well. This is so awesome!
As many of you know, my son Hayden was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in December of 2010. Crohn’s is an Auto Immune disease that attacks the digestive tract for which there is currently no cure. (Nope - It's NOT contagious) At a minimum Hayden will always have to take medication and undergo many medical tests, procedures and appointments throughout his lifetime.
Hayden has endured more physically and emotionally than any 14 year old should have to. He endures more than most people will ever see or even know about and at the current time, there is no cure for this disease, and thus a life with pain, medicines, hospital visits, doctor appointments, surgeries and emotional struggles is what his future holds if we do not find a cure.
At the time that I write this note, Hayden is about 2 years from when he originally got sick. Since that time, Hayden has yet to get into remission. He has had to take steroids which carry their own crazy side effects, immune suppressors, supplements, and many other pills and nutritional drinks. Unfortunately his main maintenance medicine, which we had hoped would get him into remission, did not do so, and after a good fight, Hayden got pretty sick again this summer. This caused us to have to change treatment plans again and try another stronger drug. This is a scary drug, actually they all are, but it is one that we hope finally helps him and we hope there are little to no side effects.
Now for the good! Although Hayden’s symptoms and side effects from Meds are pretty rough, they have thankfully been less than what some people have to deal with who have this disease. Hayden does not miss out on anything he wants to do or puts his mind to. This summer he got pretty sick just days before he was suppose to go to a 2 week summer sports camp. Needless to say with his perseverance and the help of the doctors we were able to get him to camp and he was able to participate throughout. He was still in pain when he left, but he did not let it stop him. He just started his freshman year in High School a couple weeks ago and he is getting ready to start Fall Lacrosse and participate again in his church youth group. He has an amazing attitude and although he has his down times, he is much more stable than me :-) !
As a parent of a child with a chronic condition, it just tears you apart. You feel lost and you want so bad to take away their pain. The last two years have truly been an emotional rollercoaster, without a day going by where I am not thinking about him and this disease. I’ll tell you that some days are pretty bad, but with the love and support from my wife and through my faith I am able to find peace and comfort. I honestly feel that this experience has changed me for the better and it has and will continue to change him for the better. I am determined to make sure Hayden and the rest of us, take full advantage of this “opportunity”, yes “opportunity” to make a difference, to help others, and hopefully to find a cure for this terrible disease. I fully believe that everything does happen for a reason, and that God will not waste his pain or our pain.
Many of you supported my run last year, and I thank you so much for your help. Although, the CCFA is doing great things and making great progress in so many areas, we still need your help. Hayden is still not cured, he is still going to the hospital and doctors monthly, still taking medicines on a daily basis and still dealing with pain and suffering. So I am still looking for you to please support our run. I also have some "runner "friends that are running the Annapolis 1/2 marathon the same weekend who have dedicated their race to Hayden and helping to find a cure for Crohn's. Thank You so much to them and their friends and family!
I know that this is another of many charities that you probably already give to, but I do ask that you please consider giving if you can. I have friends whose children have Cancer, Crohn’s, Spina-bifida, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Down Syndrome, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Epilepsy, Childhood Diabetes, Asthma, Lymes and Autism, and you know what, they all need our help. I hope that you would give to all of them as they all are worthy of our help. At the same time, I recognize that many of us are fighting financial battles and if that is you, please do keep us in your thoughts and prayers as that means more to us than anything.
The least I can do for Hayden and for others with this chronic disease is run 13 miles. I don’t like running any more than I did last year when I did this, but all I have to do is think about what Hayden has to go through on a daily basis and running becomes easy. I know this is true for his Aunt Missy as well, as she is very much going out of her comfort zone for someone she loves dearly.
All your contributions are 100% tax deductible and know that 80% of all your dollars go directly into funding Crohn’s and Colitis Programs and Research for a cure.
Thank you for your contributions, your well wishes and your prayers.
Greg and Missy
Faith, Fight, Persevere
Romans 5:3-5 “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know suffering brings perseverance, perseverance, character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.”