|Thank you for stopping to hear my story – many other share my same struggles, often in silence, due to the debilitating and embarrassing symptoms.
I have never spoken about my disease like this before, but it is not unique.
I am running this half marathon to find support for myself and to raise funds to aid critical research. Crohn's disease and Colitis are both autoimmune diseases which affect the intestines and colon. The body sees itself as a threat, and attacks itself, resulting in inflammation of the intestines and myriad of symptoms including: ulcerations, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and malnutrition. Together, these diseases affect over 1.4 million people worldwide. There is no cure.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in early 2006, during my sophomore year in college, although (like many sufferers) I had symptoms for at least 4 years prior. My diagnosis came only after 2 ER visits and 2 specialists. I was diagnosed at such a late phase that within 4 months of diagnosis (despite prescriptions and steroids), I was admitted to the hospital for 10 days and urgent surgery that resulted in removal of over 18 inches of small and large intestines. I spent the summer recuperating and returned to school in the fall.
During these 6 years, despite countless prescriptions and steroid rounds, I have never found remission. I have battled flares that have affected my personal life, professional career, and graduate school. And yet I will not let Crohn’s disease define me. And with more research money, someday I hope to have a medication available that will allow me to define my Crohn’s disease.
The Team Challenge Half Marathon raises funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). The CCFA supports research, patient education, and patient wellness in communities all across the United States. And through this race, will be able to return at least 75 cents on every dollar donated back to their mission. Every dollar truly matters to this organization! Please donate what you can towards my goal of $5,000 – and please forward this link to share with others. With each dollar, and each step, we’re closer to a cure! Thank you!