BENEFITING: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
ORGANIZER: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
EVENT: 2015 LA Marathon
EVENT DATE: Mar 15, 2015
I can't wait to turn 30.
My 29th year was quite the rollercoaster when it comes to my Crohn's disease. I faced some of my highest highs and lowest lows. Let's look at things chronilogically, shall we? In January, I got the incredible news that I was promoted at work. As most of you know, I work for the CCFA and fully intend to work myself out of a job someday. I was thrilled (and still am) at the opportunity to grow my career and continue to make a difference in the lives of those living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Just as I was settling in to my new role, I was hit with the worst Crohn's disease flare I've ever I had. It came on suddenly in May, after a long month of travel. Out of nowhere, I was constantly bleeding, barely eating (to avoid the pain and bleeding), taking the dreaded Prednisone (steroids) and struggling to stay on top of things. I was so busy, this hardly registered as an issue until I went to my doctor's office and was told I had 48 hours for my guts to get it together, or I would be admitted to the hospital for IV steroids.
Spoiler alert: my guts didn't get it together. I spent 8 days in the hospital in June. While I was there, I took received high doses of IV steroids that really didn't make a dent in the bleeding. It became clear that it was time to start a new treatment plan. During my hospital stay, I began taking Remicade, an IV medication that is considered a form of chemotherapy. It supresses my immune system so that it doesn't attack itself. Every 8 weeks, I go to an infusion center and spend 3 hours getting my Remicade infusion so I can maintain a better quality of life.
But it doesn't end there. Crohn's had even more in store for me during 2014.
First was something amazing. I had the opportunity to volunteer my time at Camp Oasis, CCFA's summer camp for children with IBD. I was a counselor to a cabin of amazing sixth and seventh grade girls, and saw more zest for life and bravery than I ever have. While funding research is important, so is funding things like Camp Oasis. On the last day, my girls were crying and hugging, so sad to leave their new friends. Many of them had never met anyone else with IBD. Many of them are already taking incredibly potent medications (like forms of chemo) so that they can have some semblance of a normal childhood. These kids were among the most inspiring you'll ever meet.
While camp was coming to a close, Crohn's disease had another battle in store for me: abcesses. My last two nights at camp, I hardly slept because of the pain in my rear end. It hurt to roll over, sitting was next to impossible, and I had no idea what was wrong. It wasn't like anything I'd ever experienced with my Crohn's before.
The short version? I had two large abcesses that required surgery. As soon as I got home from camp, I headed to see my doctor, who had me admitted to the hospital on the spot. I had surgery that same day, and again two days later, before the problem started to resolve. It took weeks to recover and start to return to normal. Even little things were difficult -- like working while unable to sit!
Because of all the setbacks of the summer, I had to withdraw from the Twin Cities Marathon, which I was supposed to run in October. I love the marathon distance and was pretty disappointed, but nothing is more important than crushing Crohn's for good.
It seems like the worst of it is behind me now (knock on wood), so I've decided to make a comeback of sorts. On February 4, I turn 30 years old. March 23 is the 10th anniversary of my Crohn's diagnosis. So in between those dates, I'll tackle 26.2 miles for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. I can't think of a better way to celebrate.
I've committed to raising $1500, but my goal is to raise at least $3000 -- $100 for each year to celebrate my 30th birthday!
(And just because I feel like it's worth mentioning -- my travel expenses are obviously not coming out of CCFA's pocket with a $1500 fundraising goal! ;) I'll be funding that part of this adventure.)
Thank you in advance for your support!
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation wrote -
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.
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.