Ironman 70.3 Des Moines
I have decided to join Team Challenge to participate in Ironman 70.3 Des Moines!
My husband, James, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2007. Unfortunately he did not respond to medical therapy and had a total colectomy in late 2009 followed by an ileoanal anastamosis in May 2010. He was fortunate to be able to have the surgery, as he had become malnourished, weak, and his quality of life was suffering. However, life without a colon is not easy. There are difficulties with hydration, dietary restrictions, skin irritation, and risk of pouchitis, stricture or post-surgical bowel obstructions. As the Crohn's and Colitis foundation states, "Surgery is not a cure." Despite his challenges, he participated in the Ironman 70.3 Maine race in August 2019 as a member of Team Challenge.
I felt inspired by James and the rest of his Team Challenge teammates when he raced in Maine. I had joined James on most of his swims, runs, and bike rides during training. As I watched the race, I thought to myself that perhaps I could do this as well. He had already signed up for 70.3 Des Moines race, and now I have decided to join him!
I am a general internist at The Iowa Clinic in Des Moines. I take care of many patients who have inflammatory bowel disease. While medication and surgical options have come a long way, there are still many barriers these patients face. These include the cost of medications, potential side effects of medications, risks of surgery, and the burden of chronic disease. Having a chronic bowel disease creates difficult social situations and plays a toll on a person's mental health. These challenges affect patients and their families every day.
By raising money for the Crohn's and Colitis foundation, these funds can go toward finding the underlying cause for these diseases, creating cures beyond just removing the part of the body that is inflamed, and creating medications that have fewer risks and are accessible to all who need them.
I am so grateful for the opportunty to race with James, and for all of the experiences we will get to enjoy together in the future.
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.
Has made a donation to this event
Fundraising Honor Roll
Bob & Jacque Earles
Jim and Deb Todd
Julia Marie Jones
Mr. Joe Eaton
Mrs. LeAnn Paulsen
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