My name is Debbie Dennis and I am currently a volunteer for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation Of America Greater San Diego and Desert Area Chapter. I have been volunteering since 2010. My Mom and I have been participating, fundraising. and volunteering for our San Diego chapter'ss Take Steps walk since 2010, where we have met children's from ALL walks of life that are battling this silent disease.
We walk because over 1.6 million American adults and children are affected by digestive diseases--one out of every 200! So many suffer in silence, but Take Steps is changing that by bringing this community together publicly and encouraging them to make noise and be heard. The money we raise through Take Steps helps support patient programs, enhances professional education efforts, and propels critical research for a cure. In the past five years alone, we succeeded in bringing together over 100,000 people and raised close to $40 million to help further CCFA's mission.
Founded in 1967, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America is the leading non-profit, volunteer-driven organization with the mission to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improve the quality of life for children and adults affected by these diseases. Today, the organization has grown to 40 local chapters, with more than $150 million raised and invested in research for a cure. This funding has enabled many groundbreaking treatments, improved the quality of care for people with these conditions, and brought the light of hope to countless lives.
Me and my Mom have also had the privilege to attend a lot of the educational programs by our very own chapter where we have talked to doctors who are currently working on finding cures for this disease. I have also been able to attend some of the webinar's when informed.
I will be attending Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the Fall of 2015 or Spring 2016 where I will be working on my B.A. in Broadcast Journalism, my goals is to become the Spokeswoman for this Foundation. On January 8, 2013 I had major surgery. I had a Laparoscopic Right Hemicolectomy. Crohn's is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease in which the gastrointestinal tract suffers prolonged inflammation.
Here is how it all begin. There was a young woman who was attending Cerritos College working on her A.A degree, who was very socially active. During her time at Cerritos she was involved in many club's and organizations. Upon preparing to transfer from Cerritos to another University she began to have problems with her stomach but she didn't know what is was. She finished working on her A.A degree and graduated in May, 2007. Upon transitioning from Cerritos College she went back to work at her former college until she transfered to another university.
While working at Cerritos, around October of 2007, her stomach symptoms begin to progress. While at home she found out that something erupted on the right side of her hip. For several months she visited the on campus doctor where she went through local testing to find out what was leaking from the right side of her hip. The on-campus doctor put her on antibiotics. She then went on to visit another local doctor where he also put her on antibiotics. During this time she was in and out of the doctors office for about a year trying to find out what it was that was leaking from her hip.
The young woman went on to transfer to another university in 2008. Upon transferring to Point Loma Nazarene University in January, 2008 she was sent home due to her condition. When the young woman got home she immediately went to the doctor to found out what this condition she was suffering from for about a year. She went back and forth in and out of the hospital.
In July, 2009 she went into the hospital to have a colonoscopy and after the result the young woman finally learned that she was diagnose with Inflammatory Bowls Disease - Crohn's disease. Now, finally the young woman could put a name to the condition she was suffering with.
She has been battling with this NASTY disease for more than four years now since being diagnosed in 2009. She has all the symptoms that fall under the category of Crohn's disease such as fatigue, weight loss, vomiting and the occasional abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and slight arthritis in the right hip area.
That young 32 year old woman is me, Debbie Dennis, and I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2009. I am a survivor of Crohn's disease and I will share my story with others and FIGHT for a cure so NO ONE has to go through this.