One thing that I promised myself when I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in March of 2018 is that I would get as strong as I possibly could, both mentally and physically. This disease does not know who it is messing with! In honor of that promise, I am running my hometown’s half marathon, Boston’s Run to Remember, on May 26, 2019, and then the Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2019, both for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. That is 39.3 miles for cures.
While I try to live my life with what I call strategic foresight, in order to not make myself sick, it does not always work like that due to the unpredictable nature of this disease. No matter how much I try to strategize, I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I don’t have a middle name, but if I did, it would be On-The-Go, and having to slow down has been one of the hardest things for me to grapple with. Running gives me a sense of strength, control, and hope while providing me with a space where I can be carefree while on the go. This disease in no way defines me, and it is not something I suffer from, but something I am conquering each and every day, and with pride. I firmly believe that it will make me an even stronger leader and citizen.
When I was diagnosed, one of the first things I did was to look up public figures who are successfully living with this disease. Visibility and advocacy matters. This disease is not visible, sexy, or something people like to talk about. I could either be silent, or I could get out there and make a difference. While I have not had it easy, others have had it much worse. I run for everyone with these diseases, especially those who can’t and want nothing more. I savor every run for my current self and I bottle up a little for my future self, just in case.
I hope you will consider making a donation and join me in the fight against these extremely painful and unpredictable diseases. Your donations will not only motivate me to finish, but they will help us get closer to finding a cure. So that I can continue to be Marija On-The-Go Tesla!
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 1.6 million Americans. These chronic diseases tend to be hereditary 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.
The Mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is: To cure and prevent Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through education and support.
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