Bring it on, IRONMAN CANADA!
On August 30, 2020, I will take on Ironman Canada as part of Team Challenge. 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running. It will be long, and hard, and I will probably wonder why I'm doing it more than once, but the answer to that is easy:
Fourteen years ago, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I had no idea what that meant. I was told that it was incurable, chronic, and I would have to take medication for the rest of my life and probably have surgery someday. I was scared, confused, angry, sad, embarrassed, and determined that no one would ever know I had some disgusting poop disease.
I kept my diagnosis secret for ten years. The only people who knew were my parents and my doctor. No other family members, no friends, no one. I lived in denial and grew adept at fooling everyone - including myself - into believing that nothing was wrong and nothing had changed. I just had to take a couple extra pills every day - like vitamins, right?
It was awful and horribly exhausting. Denial and ignorance and fear SUCK.
But then I joined Team Challenge and everything changed. I stood up in front of a group of strangers (now very good friends!) and told them that I have UC. It was the most liberating moment of my life. I have never regretted it, not once.
So, now I'm back. Ironman Canada will be my eighth event with Team Challenge and I can't wait to get out on that racecourse, in my bright orange jersey, with all my teammates. The training will be hard (so hard!) and long (so long!), and my UC will definitely throw me some curveballs along the way, but I won't stop. I can't stop. WE NEED CURES! I need a cure.
Please help me reach my goal; $0.80 of every dollar goes straight to research, support, awareness, doctor education, and advocacy programs. Any amount helps - even $5.00! So please donate, and help me make a difference in the fight against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
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 & 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.
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