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When Life Hands you Grapes, Make Wine!
13.1 Miles Closer to the Cure!

Thank You Friends and Family for taking time to visit our site!

For those of you close to the family, you know that the past 11 years have offered many great challenges to our family, especially my mother. The last year and a half have been no exception, starting back in November in 2011. However, God has graced my mother and I with a blessing in disguise to help us get through this all, this blessing being the amazing experience of joining Team Challenge. As my mom gracefully stated, she has discovered what it feels like to have a "runners high," and as far as for me, this experience has been one of the ONLY things that has gotten me through the pain and suffering I have endured from this horrible disease. It wasn't but an hour after completing our first half marathon on December 2, 2012, that we both decided that this was definitely not our last half marathon but, rather, our first of many.

About the Mission:

The mission of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is to cure Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. Crohn’s disease may affect as many as 700,000 Americans. Men and Women are equally likely to be affected, and while the disease can occur at any age, Crohn's is more prevalent among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35. Similarly, Ulcerative Colitis may affect as many as 700,000 Americans. Men and Women are equally likely to be affected, and most people are diagnosed in their mid-30s. The disease can occur at any age and older men are more likely to be diagnosed than older women. Chron’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Approximately 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Chron’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis.

What we are doing and Why:

In November, 2011, I had 29 cm of my colon removed because of a rupture caused by Diverticulitis. Needless to say, since then life has been a roller coaster ride for me, going from doctor to doctor, trying to figure out what caused me to get such a disease. I was shocked when I found out the diagnosis, as it is a disease that occurs most commonly in people who are over 40, people who don’t exercise, people who are overweight, and people who smoke- none of which describe me. As a result of having this disease, I have had to totally adjust my lifestyle in regards to what I can and cannot eat, how I take care of my body, and how I live each day. One I wakeup feeling like I could run a marathon, and the next day I cannot get out of bed because I am in so much pain. Because of this, I realized that every day is a blessing, you need to take advantage of EVERY day as a gift, and live it to your fullest potential and ability. Last August I became a member of TEAM CHALLENGE, an AMAZING group that raises money for the research of Crohn's, Colitis, and other debilitating IBD's. Not only this, but my mother also joined and together, as partners, we completed our first half marathon in December.

This time around, we have decided to turn the "rotten grapes" we have been handed in life into wine, and are embarking on a 13.1 mile, 18 week, and most importantly, $6,000 journey from Napa Sonoma with the rest of our 700 + Team Challenge teammates. 80% of every dollar these 700+ people raise throughout these 18 weeks will go DIRECTLY to fund the mission of CCFA, which means even more to me now that I am currently being tested for, and perhaps soon will be diagnosed with one of these IBD's.

We hope that our dedication to this cause will make a difference in fighting, and maybe one day finding a cure for Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and other IBD's. However, we cannot do this alone! Many of you have already GRACIOUSLY taken a part in helping us conquer this goal. Words cannot express how much this means to us, and the fact that you are, once again, considering helping this cause is unbelievable! Our goal is to, together, raise $6000 by July 21, 2013, and every dollar counts! The best part is that 80% of every dollar raised goes directly to fund the mission of CCFA!

. : : Make a Contribution : : .

Total Donations: $850.00 Goal: $6,000

$0 14% $6,000

About Team Challenge
Team Challenge is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s endurance training and fundraising program. With Team Challenge, you’ll find new strength inside yourself, and help find cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, two painful, seldom-discussed and debilitating digestive diseases. With our Half Marathon and Triathlon Training Programs, you'll train for a rewarding and exciting endurance event at one of our great destination races while raising vital funds for research into these diseases. These dollars will help make new treatments possible and fuel the search for cures.

About Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both major categories of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). IBD affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans. These chronic diseases tend to run in families and they affect males and females equally. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and may affect any part from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition limited to the colon, otherwise known as the large intestine.

About CCFA
Since our founding over four decades ago, CCFA has remained at the forefront of research in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Today, we fund cutting-edge studies at major medical institutions, nurture investigators at the early stages of their careers, and finance underdeveloped areas of research. In addition, our educational workshops and programs, along with our scientific journal, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, enable medical professionals to keep pace with this rapidly growing field.
Contributor Amount Comment
sue epstein $50.00 "Go, team!"
Molly Krebs $50.00 "Hi Jessica! I've been meaning to donate to this cause after seeing several people I know suffer from these diseases. I saw your post in my facebook feed so I figured now is as good a time as any. This is a great mission and message. Good luck with all the training : )"
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