Welcome to My Personal Page
My Fundraising Goal for this event is $4900, and I'm so close!
If you have already contributed to this cause, I am honored that you took the time, and shared your resources, to help fund research for these diseases. THANK YOU.
For anyone who wishes to hear my story and why this foundation is so important to me.. keep reading!
There are several reasons why I choose to advocate for funding research for Crohn's and Colitis. First, let's start with what a diagnosis of one of these diseases even means! Crohn's and Colitis together are referred to as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD for short). People diagnosed with either of these diseases can experience many different symptoms ranging from diarrhea to requiring surgery to have their bowel removed. Attached below is a brochure that explains the diseases, and IBS really nicely.
One of the most important things to know is that, there is no cure for IBD.
This foundation contributes funds in order to perform ongoing research for treatment, symptom management, and for finding a CURE. In May, of last year I was actually able to be a human subject in one of the research studies supported by all this fundraising! Haha, cycle of life right? I had a host of diagnostic imaging and minimally invasive tests done which was time consuming and slightly uncomfortable. The data of these tests is being used to find a safer and less invasive option for diagnosing and monitoring progress of IBD.
So far, my life with Crohn's disease has been pretty uneventful. I have never needed surgery and I have never been hospitalized. I owe this good fortune to the fact that I have always had access to affordable healthcare, good insurance, a supportive family, and I have an understanding of how the body and medical field works because of my profession as a Physical Therapist. This knowledge has been extremely valuable in helping me navigate the world of chronic illness, bills, insurance, holistic options, medicine, etc. However, I can't stress enough that all these things are not enough. I have been very lucky, but the reality is that the majority of people even with these types of resources are disabled by IBD.
The thing that I would like to make very clear is that, yes, I have been fortunate, but no, this is not always the case.
At my job as a PT, I often work in the critical care and post surgery units in an acute care hospital. I have treated pediatric patients, young adults, and otherwise healthy people who are hospitalized, sometimes in critical condition, because they are not responding to the treatments for IBD that currently exist. One individual, let's call him Alex, nearly died from complications of Crohn's disease. He was switching from one medication to another, and in the short time in between, his bowel ripped and he went into multi-system organ failure. At 20 years old, college was put on hold, he was on life support, dialysis, and could not move. When we met, in the ICU, he was unable to lift his head off the pillow because of weakness and pain. Months later, Alex, was released to rehab to continue his recovery. I had the extreme pleasure of seeing him a year later, when he return to the hospital to have his ostomy reversed (a good thing!). He told me he was finally (after 2 years of IV supplementation) eating real food! I got to hug him and his family and give them more well wishes. There are so many cases like Alex's Some people think that IBD makes it hard to eat, or you have the occasional diarrhea.. I assure you, it is so much more than that. There is a very high incidence of depression, anxiety, and social isolation as well.
Lastly, the thing I love most about this foundation is the type of fundraisers they choose to promote. There is a lot of evidence that movement, yoga, exercise, and healthy living can have huge impacts on the way IBD is managed (and well, nearly everything else for that matter). This foundation promotes sports, running, hiking, spinning, and most importantly, a team effort to achieve goals. I can't help but admit that a part of the reason I contribute is because, it's FUN.
These fundraisers give people opportunities to spend time moving their bodies, with people they love, for a great cause.. who wouldn't be on board for that?!
I sincerely hope to hear from all of you soon. Thank you for taking the time to read my message. Please remember that no donation is too small and I am so grateful for ANY support. Happy Thanksgiving!
"You know how to heal this planet. You know how to love. Love is the healing power of the universe."
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