Kelsey Beckford wrote -
Thanks for visiting my fundraising page to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) and Arthritis Foundation! As most of you know, two weeks before my 13th birthday I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and 6 months later I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The journey for me has been a very long road back to feeling healthy, happy and understanding how to deal with my conditions. My life has been altered, but my will to survive and thrive in life has not been altered at all.
As eloquently stated by one of my doctor’s; “Kelsey is quite simply the bravest and most determined young person I know. Her illness has had an exceedingly complex course that has led her through numerous medication trials and several severe adverse side effects, most significantly the avascular necrosis and arthritis that currently limit range of motion in her knees and hips and can only be well addressed by total knee and hip replacements when she finishes growing. Despite this, I have never known Kelsey to experience self-pity or to let anything dissuade her from her determination and convictions. She faces every challenge with a “can do” attitude that would be remarkable in an individual several times her age”.
Now I’m about to turn 16, and what an exciting age to be. Sweet Sixteen is that age where every young girl wants to become “Queen for the day”. With that said, I decided to use my royal status, and raise funds for CCFA and the Arthritis Foundation. I want to be an example for others to show that “a can do” attitude is all someone needs to overcome all the difficulties I have faced over the past three years. I feel that if a person has a wonderful support system you can overcome any obstacles in your life.
I am thankful for the William J. Dowdy Foundation for supporting me, and my efforts to raise awareness in the African-American community about Crohn’s disease and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.