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Francine Garrone's Fundraiser:

CROHN'S & COLITIS FOUNDATION - WESTERN PA

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Training
March 22, 2017

6 weeks out from race day, 11 post op.  Sunday-Funday Long Run Days will peek this weekend with a 20-mile run! But, thats not the hard part!  See more

BENEFITING: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

ORGANIZER: Crohns Colitis

EVENT: Pittsburgh Marathon 2017

EVENT DATE: May 07, 2017

Francine Garrone

THE STORY:

You Give Me the Kind of Feeling People Write Novels About 

And my story doesn't end with Chapter 1 ... 

Like any story begins, I start with: It was a chilly day in May 2009 and I had been 8 months removed of my father's passing and trying my damndest to make the best of a new, and quite stressful, job. I had known for some time that something wasn't right, but who wants to admit the fact that they are sick. Not "Hey, I have a runny nose and chills" sick, but ill. I knew deep down inside it was ulcerative colitis. But, if I didn't go to the doctor then I couldn't be diagnosed. It's what my father had. He's gone. Will I have the same fate?

But, the disease was winning the battle. 

My diagnosis came a day later after being admitted to the hospital and having an emergency colonoscopy. I had never felt so alone. Who would I talk to? The older lady in the bed beside me wasn't going to, after all, she had quite a story of her own ... Why did my father leave me here to deal with this disease without him to talk to? I was angry. 

The doctor wrote me a prescription and sent me on my way, to deal. Nine pills a day! NINE GOD-LOVING PILLS A DAY! My medication came in three large containers. I was like a walking pharmacy. This cannot be right! But, it was. 

In 2010, I had told myself no matter what, I had to just move forward and deal with this disease. There is no cure, so dwelling on the inevitable was doing nothing but making the hamster in my brain spin circles on that squeeky wheel of chaos. Wait ... that's it ... I'll register to run a marathon. (Treadmill, hamster wheel ... it makes sense, right?) 

And I did. And after that, another. And another. Then an ultra. Throw in half marathons and 5Ks and 10Ks, and I was, well, crazy.  

I trained. I still train. At times hiding the pain that lived inside my lower intestine. No one knew the pain, not even my training partner, the woman who knew EVERYTHING about me, but never the pain. That was until my color started to fade and my trips into the woods on small runs became more frequent. She pleaded for me to get a second opinion. 

I opened my browser to Google and typed in "Ulcerative Colitis AND doctors AND Pittsburgh, PA" and called the first one that appeared. I honestly had no hope in ever finding the right combination of medication and a doctor who didn't rotate patients in and out on a daily basis. But I did. And she is amazing! (My best friend, too!)

I was placed through a battery of tests. Poked, proded, questioned, and placed on a slew of medications. Oh, heck no! Not me! I was resistent. Prednisone made me wash windows at 3 a.m., Remicade made me develop cute little spots all over my torso (I look cute in polka dots, just not the kind I was hoping for), and the tears had finally run dry. I told my doctor as a last ditch effort, I'd try Humira. AND IT WORKED! For some time ... until the dose was doubled and my body started hating foods ... 

Today, I am still writing that book. It's an infinitive book. My journey will live on through my children, even when I am gone, as this disease is hereditery. 

This year, I am running the Pittsburgh Marathon with CCFA because I can. Yeah, that may sound arrogant, but many individuals with crohn's and colitis have a longer book than I do. And, they cannot. Granted, I may map out every port-o-potty along the course and check a bag with extra close "just in case," but I refuse to give up the fight. Not now. Never. My father would not want me to. I don't want to. For, some day, my sons may suffer from UC, and, I want to show them that no matter the struggle, no matter the pain, you CAN succeed. 

... and so the story goes. 

$505

MONEY RAISED
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  • Patricia McCorkle

    $50

  • Alison Walsh

    $25

  • Missy Gibbon

    $25

  • Francine Garrone

    $200

  • Caporali Family

    $25

  • Colleen Sellers

    $100

  • Bob & Anne McDermott

    $25

  • Uncle Dave and Aunt Dee

    $30

  • Anonymous

    $25

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101% Raised of $500 Goal

The Team: $17,122 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

Fundraiser Title

Lauren Hopkins

Amount Raised

$1,225

 

123% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Mary Amrhein-May

Amount Raised

$1,000

 

100% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Charles May

Amount Raised

$1,000

 

100% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Nick Potonia

Amount Raised

$810

 

81% Raised of $1,000 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Michael Kiehl

Amount Raised

$800

 

160% Raised of $500 Goal

Fundraiser Title

Chelsea McNeil

Amount Raised

$705

Fundraiser Title

Louis Burns

Amount Raised

$695

Fundraiser Title

Meghan Dippel

Amount Raised

$670

 

134% Raised of $500 Goal

Donor Comments

Anonymous

ANONYMOUS

DONATION: $25

4 months ago

Uncle Dave and Aunt Dee

Uncle Dave and Aunt Dee

DONATION: $30

4 months ago

Bob & Anne McDermott

Bob & Anne McDermott

DONATION: $25

4 months ago

Colleen Sellers

Colleen Sellers

DONATION: $100

I am so incredibly proud of you for overcoming the obstacles that you have faced and for never giving up. You amaze me! Keep doing what you're doing and know that I'm always by your side! XOXO 4 months ago

Caporali Family

Caporali Family

DONATION: $25

4 months ago

Francine Garrone

Francine Garrone

DONATION: $200

You are one tough girl, this donation is a tribute to your successes even though you fight this disease! Love youâ 8 months ago

Missy Gibbon

Missy Gibbon

DONATION: $25

11 months ago

Alison Walsh

Alison Walsh

DONATION: $25

11 months ago

Patricia McCorkle

Patricia McCorkle

DONATION: $50

Good luck to you Francine!! Go get 'em! 11 months ago