Dear Friends and Family,
I’m in! That’s right! On November 4th I’m running the ING New York City Marathon for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. This is an amazing opportunity to be of service and accomplish a lifelong goal- I could not pass it up. I am committed to raising funds and awareness for research leading to improved treatment options and a cure for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
This journey over the next sixteen weeks is in support of my dear friend, Sandra Youssef, who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis seven years ago. Over the past two and a half years, I have seen Sandra deal with the daily challenges of managing her disease. Despite the difficulties, she has not let the disease take her out of the game or take away her joy and passion. Sandra is in the final phases of completing a graduate degree in early childhood education. The demands of graduate school which include a full time course load, student teaching and working one-on-one with children part time would be a challenge for anyone. Sandra excels at these tasks while managing a chronic disease because she is doing what she loves. I am inspired by Sandra’s spirit and how she faces every day, especially the difficult ones when her disease is very active, with a love for life and a wonderful sense of humor. It is an honor and privilege to run 26.2 miles to support Sandra.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases. They are chronic disorders that cause inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract - causing painful inflammation of the intestines, bleeding, and the inability to absorb nutrients, among many other possible symptoms.
It is estimated that as many as 1.4 million Americans have IBD; however, many more suffer in silence due to potential embarrassment and alienation. Crohn's disease may occur in people of all ages, but it is primarily a disease of adolescents and young adults, affecting mainly those between 15 and 35.
As a member of Team Challenge, I have two coaches, teammates and I have committed to a rigorous training schedule, which includes running 4 times a week, and long runs (including two twenty milers) over the course of the next few months. Running is something I really love. I revel in the physical and mental challenges of the sport. Marathon training is taking me to the next level and I'm ready for it. It gives me so much and with it, I can give back. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to support Sandra when she has the good health and stamina to run her first marathon.
I’ve committed to raising $5,000 by October 15th to support the CCFA. Any and all support is very much appreciated. No donation is too big or too small! You can donate using a credit card here on my page or you can mail a check to me made out to the CCFA (you can email me at email@example.com for my mailing address). So please help me support the CCFA and Sandra by giving what you can. Your donation will make a difference towards a cure.
Thank you and see you at the finish line!
With my sincerest gratitude,