Its hard to beleive that its been 3 years since Emily was first diagnosed with Crohn's. So much has happened since that time that it seems like forever ago. However, we are absolutely lucky and blessed for many reasons...
FIRST AND FOREMOST... EMILY HAS BEEN AN ABSOLUTE WARRIOR AND SHINING EXAMPLE TO US ALL. She has never once complained about having to get IV infuions and blood tests every 6 weeks. She has never once felt down because she didnt get to have sugary sweets, or fast food or other treats along with her friends. NOPE.. instead she just continues to bring her positive and happy attitude with her everywhere. Whether she is giving it her all on the softball field, excelling in the classroom, being a wonderful big sister or just smiling cause she loves life Emily inspires Brianne and I each and every day.
SECOND AND NO LESS IMPORTANT... 2020 was a challenging year, but YOU ALL stepped up again and makde Emily's Warriors one of the leading fundraisers for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. You all have joined our wonderful team and backed out girl with donations and all around support. We can't imagine having to face these types of things alone.
FINALLY.... the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation has been a tremendous resource for those who suffer from this invisible disease. We learned that Emily's current medical treatment was discovered through research that was made possible by donations like your to the Foundatio. So it is without doubt that we can affirmatively say... YOUR SUPPORT IS THE REASON EMILY AND MANY LIKE HER DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER! As parents of a little (not so litlte anymore) girl, there is no greater gift in the world than that.
New challenges are always popping up and while her treatment has worked really well so far, there are always risks involved. So we hope the CCFA continues to get your support and FUND RESEARCH FOR A CURE!
TOGETHER, AS A TEAM, WE CAN CONTINUE TO SHOW EMILY THAT SHE INSPIRES US WITH HER COURAGE.
TOGETHER, AS A TEAM, WE CAN BEAT OUR PREVIOUS FUNDRAISING MARK
TOGETHER, AS A TEAM, WE WILL BEAT CROHN'S.
LOVE AND THANKS,
EMILY, ASHLEY, BRIANNE AND MIKE
Many of you know the background, but here is Emily's story for any of you who are NEW WARRIORS!!
A little over 12 years ago (February 12, 2009) Emily Virginia came into this world and her angelic smile filled me with an unbelievable sense of pride as well as resonsibility.
On that day, I swore (like all Dads) that I would do everything in my power to protect her. I made a promise to her that I would never let anything hurt her. Unfortunately, shortly after her 9th Birthday, I learned a very difficult lesson.... That promise I had made to her was not one that I could always keep. Emily started to get sick quite often and was losing weight. After about 2 months of doctor visits, blood tests, scopes, CT scans and MRIs we learned that she had Crohn's disease. Fortunately, for every weakness I had in not being able to protect her the way I wanted, God blessed our little girl with even more strength and courage. She has taken everything in stride with her unbreakable spirit. The countless trips to the doctors, blood tests, medication infusions, limitations to her diet have not stopped her. She is going strong and continues to excel in everything she puts puts her mind to. Whether it be academics, theater, soccer, basketball or softball Emily is always all heart.
There truly is no worse feeling than when something is wrong with your child and you are helpless in fixing it. This was the overwhelming feeling that suffocated me when she first got sick. Thankfully, I am blessed to be surrounded by so many people who stepped up in that time of weakness and were the strength that I didnt have. There are so many to thank....
* Emily, my slugger, who is so caring and compassionate, even in the face of tough times.
* Brianne, who has been a calming influence and has worked so hard to keep Emily on a healthy diet and happy.
* Ashley, who can make all of us, especially her big sister laugh.
* Nani and Popa and Gramma - who have been with us for appointments and show Emily that she has a team behind her.
* Our siblings and friends who always do everything to brighten Emily's spririts and watch after Ashley when we need to take Emily to appointments
* Jack/John Feighery who ran the NYC Marathon with me in 2019 and helped raise money for the foundation. It was an amazing experience to run this race alongside a true friend. Jack trained tirelessly, raised lots of money to benefit this wonderful foundation, on race day his shirt said.... 'In Honor Of Emily and her Dad', and then after it was all over had the nerve to write me a thank you note!! Class act all the way!
* Uncle B who as a board member of the Long Island Crohn's & Colitis Foundation chapter and continues to go above and beyond to support the foundation and provide endless resources
* Dr. Rockower at Clarkstown Pediatrics who was humble and confident enough to suggest that we see a specialist to best help Emily and continues to be a calming resource of health information.
* Dr. Chien at Weill Cornell Pediatric GI who originally treated Emily, helped her achieve remission, and patiently listened and responded to my endless questions and ramblings.
*Dr. Dubsinky and Nurse Randa Samaha at Mt. Sinai Pediatric IBD center who treat Emily and use all of their expertise and compassion to ensure she gets the best treament possible.
* Mr. John Haley whose ability and willingness to help a fellow Ram, got Emily into NY Presbyterian hospital so quickly which made a huge difference in turning her disease progression around.
*THIS LIST COULD GO ON AND ON!!
About Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affects almost 1 in 100 people. They are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive tract, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, and weight loss. Many patients require numerous hospitalizations and surgery. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35; however the incidence is increasing in children.
The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation is the largest non-profit, voluntary, health organization dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The Foundation's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who are affected by these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research; providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public; and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD.
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affect more individuals than you may think - it is estimated that as many as 3 million Americans suffer from IBD. While many suffer in silence, Take Steps, brings the community together in a fun, family-friendly and supportive atmosphere.
Your donation to my fundraising efforts will help support local patient programs, as well as important research projects. This cause is very important to me and I appreciate your help as we unite for cures.
Do you know someone who is affected by Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis? Join my team or share my fundraising page to spread awareness in the community.