Welcome to Jae's Personal Fundraising Page
I decided to make a difference in the fight against Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. On August 25th, I will participate in the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Maine to raise money towards finding a cure. “70.3” refers to the total number of miles covered: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run.
This is personal. I used to be a healthy, athletic person and ran numerous marathons in the past, but I also almost died from complications of ulcerative colitis over a decade ago. I was hospitalized with frank bleeding from the bottom (hematochezia) and intense leg pain, which was an enormous and life-threatening blood clot (deep venous thrombosis) that extended from my leg all the way up into my pelvis. The clot was due to hypercoagulability brought on by inflammation from ulcerative colitis. My case was challenging because the diagnosis was initially unknown (GI cancer was the first suspected diagnosis), and I had to be put on blood thinners (anticoagulated) while I was still bleeding. At the time I was on the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a cardiologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where I was incredibly well taken care of. I can only imagine the possible outcomes for patients who were not so well plugged into health care! Over time the ulcerative colitis would be controlled on mesalamine, but I also developed some inflammatory arthritis, for which I am currently taking methotrexate, an immunosuppressive agent. Over the last few years, limited exercise due to my workaholism and difficulty motivating through morning stiffness and aching joints took its toll, and insidiously, I became obese, hypertensive, and unhealthy--really shameful for a cardiologist! As I approach my 50th birthday, I needed to turn my life around, and get back to leading a healthy and athletic lifestyle. About 7 months ago, more out of inspiration from my incredible wife Deborah than any true sense of discipline, I embarked on a journey towards a major lifestyle change, with focus on improving overall fitness, mobility, sustainably healthy diet, and all the while having a productive work life and prioritizing quality time for my wife and children. Deborah would often advise me, "you're so smart, so why can't you make health and family a priority and figure out how to do this?", and so I did, and made part of the challenge "sciencing the heck out of it". I successfully lost over 50 lbs, am back to my "fighting weight", normotensive off blood pressure medications, have improved my cardiovascular fitness, and I am now able to complete each of the triathlon components of swimming, biking and running within reasonable times. Now I just need to put all the components together into one event! The Ironman Triathlon is not only my way of fighting back against this disease, but also a decisive step in reclaiming my life and creating a future of durable health and longevity for myself and my family.
This will be a big undertaking, but it will all be worth it because your donations will not only motivate me to the finish, but they will help us get closer to the cure. Won’t you please consider a donation today?
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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Fundraising Honor Roll
Mr. Laurent Placidi
Ms. Jihong Chen
Naked Mole Rat Convertee
Pushkal & Lori Garg
The Roth family
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