|Dear Friends and Family,
As most of you know, I have lived with Crohn's disease for about twelve years. During most of those years I have suffered the painful symptoms, hospital stays, blood transfusions and the side-effects of the high-risk medications that accompany this disease. I will never be able to fully express how much all of your care and support meant during those difficult times.
I am requesting your support once more. I am going to run a half-marathon to raise money that will fund the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's research efforts. It is estimated that 1.4 million people have some form of IBD, and it is thought that many more are suffering in silence because of embarrassment.
I eventually had surgery to remove my colon. That was about a year ago and I am feeling great, but the surgery wasn't a cure. I am currently taking a regimen of drugs to prevent a reoccurrence, but the side-effects are frightening. About 70% of people with Crohn's will eventually undergo surgery and about 50% of those patients will have a recurrence of Crohn's disease within five years of having surgery. And sadly, many more patients will accept a very low quality of life filled with severe pain to avoid surgery.
A cure for this disease and more humane treatments must be found. Those patients that are able to tolerate the current medications available risk side-effects that include bone loss, glaucoma, hypertension, neurological damage, and worse. A medication that I take daily has shown to increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer, especially skin cancer and lymphoma. For those that can't tolerate the medications or are drug-resistant surgical options are usually all that remain for them.
I would very much appreciate your support for my participation in the half-marathon event in the way of a tax-deductible donation to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. You may make this donation securely online by clicking on the link below. Any size donation is welcome! Contributors will be recognized on my web-site and will receive email confirmation of your donation and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation. Your contribution WILL make a difference to fund important research to find a cure and raise awareness of a disease that is devastating to so many.
For every $50 contribution, you will receive a customized "Wine Country Half-Marathon" T-shirt with every Jennifer Thorsen contributor listed on the shirt. I plan to wear this special T-shirt during my half marathon in Napa.
Thanks for your generosity and support!
Please forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well!