Posts Tagged by Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

From the Bathroom to Kona

If you’ve been reading RAD for a while, you will know that I have Ulcerative Colitis.  It is something I used to be embarrassed to talk about, but since I’ve started running and competing in endurance events that is no longer the case.  As I’ve become more vocal about suffering from this disease, more and more people have seemed to come out of the woodwork who struggle with the same issues and I know there is nothing to be embarrassed about.

A few years ago my doctor told me that I should not compete in any long distance running events, but clearly I have proven them wrong.  Sometimes it’s hard…VERY hard to find the energy to train or even get through a short 2 mile run because of my UC, but I just take it one day at a time.

I wanted to share this video with you that I found recently by Grant Henry.  Grant shares his story, From the Bathroom to Kona, as part of the Kona Inspired contest.  Here competitors share what drives them to that starting line and why they are competing in the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI.  Winners will receive entry into the 2013 Ironman World Championship, along with many other VIP perks.  Here’s Grant’s story…

From the Bathroom to Kona

Grant is raising money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and Team Challenge, an organization very dear to my heart.  Last year around this time I was also raising money for CCFA as I was getting ready to run the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon with Team Challenge, proving that UC can’t hold me back!

Medal & Wine Glass copy

So vote for Grant.  Let’s help him get to Kona a show that UC, Crohn’s and IBD aren’t death sentences, we can do anything!

My Experience Running with Team Challenge

This weekend I ran the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon (recap coming soon!) with the Fairfield/Westchester chapter of  Team Challenge and it was a truly inspirational and life changing experience.  If you don’t know what Team Challenge is, you should!  It is the endurance training and fundraising program for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, which is dedicated to finding a cure to these horrible diseases that affect over 1.4 million Americans.  The program provides fundraising support, weekly training sessions with experienced running coaches, a cheering squad on the race course, and everything you could possibly need leading up to and at the race you are signed up for.  The support is unparalleled!

Awesome FairWest Support Team!
Coaches Janis & Dasiy
Endurance Manager Dan

I’ve been suffering with ulcerative colitis (UC) for almost 10 years now and until recently have remained relatively silent about it.  Yes, my family and close friends knew that I suffered, but openly talking about my bowels was not something I was all too comfortable with.  That was until I joined Team Challenge.  It was like everyone started coming out of the woodwork with stories of how either Crohn’s or colitis has affected their lives in some way.  People who I have know for years revealed that they themselves were suffering from this…why have we never talked about this before?!

But it was mainly my Endurance Manager Dan who helped me break out of my UC shell.  He also suffers with UC and tells everyone about it!  As he says, it’s the second thing he tells people he first meets after his name.  I realized that it’s healthy to talk about and and that I’m not alone in this battle.  It’s nice to find someone who can relate to what I’m going through.  Don’t get me wrong, my family is incredibly supportive, but they don’t know what a flare is like and how sick you feel because there aren’t many visual symptoms.  Dan is also an inspiration to those of us trying to stay active and healthy with UC.  Not only has he run numerous half marathons with Team Challenge before becoming an Endurance Manager, he takes part in other grueling competitions like Tough Mudder.  Crazy!  So big thanks to Dan for your support and endless cheering throughout the race this past weekend.

Pure Awesome

Besides the support from Dan and my coaches, it was great to have such a wonderful team to race with.  The night before the race we all sat around and said why we were doing this.  Many people have no ties to Crohn’s and Colitis, but needed a way to get healthy.  I can think of no better way to start.  In the process of changing their lives for the better, they are helping to find a cure.

Check out this great video on what it’s like to run for Team Challenge:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wagn-IxAlD8&w=560&h=315]

Doesn’t that look like fun?!  So why not attend an information session?  This summer local chapters will be hosting informational sessions about the program and how you can sign up to run the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  Vegas baby!

Together our chapter raised over $74,000 for CCFA and $1.6 million was raised overall for this race alone.  A lot can be done with that!  I’m going to keep running for Team Challenge and sporting my blue and orange.  I believe that one day there will be a cure and I’m proud to be part of making that happen.  I hope to see you at a race one day so we can “run our assses off” together!  Get it 😉

Sporting my TC Gear!

Running For Team Challenge

I just got back from a much needed few days in Walt Disney World to escape the cold of the Northeast and have a some laughs with my amazing friends.  I have some great posts coming up about my time there, so stay tuned!  In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about something I’ve just began that is very important to me.

I recently signed up with Team Challenge to fundraise for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), a non-profit organization dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  Team Challenge is a training program that provides support for both novice and advanced runners to complete a half marathon.  During the training period, runners will raise funds for Crohn’s and colitis research and patient services in exchange for training support, transportation and lodging for the race, and race registration fees.

The mission of CCFA is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.  Funding supports cutting-edge studies at major medical institutions and finances underdeveloped areas of research.  They also provide various educational programs and symposiums, and produce a scientific journal, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, to keep medical professionals abreast of all the rapidly changing information in this field.

If you are not familiar with either Crohn’s or colitis, they are two forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and effect nearly 1.4 million people.  They are painful and incurable diseases that can be effectively managed by maintenance medications, but often require surgery.  I know these difficulties first hand as I have been suffering from ulcerative colitis for almost ten years.  At the present time, it is not known what causes these diseases or how to cure them.  Research is currently being done in immunology, genetics and other areas to get closer to finding an answer to these issues, but more work needs to be done.  That’s why it is so important to me to support CCFA…WE NEED A CURE!

Click here for more information on CCFA.

Click here for more information on Crohn’s Disease.

Click here for more information on Ulcerative Colitis

Now that I’ve made you feel bad for me, I’m going to ask you for your support.  Yes this was the plan all along.  The race I am running with Team Challenge is the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon on June 2, 2012.  I need to raise $2,900 by May in order to run the race.  This is a huge undertaking, but I know it’s possible.  Even $10 goes a long way!  So consider supporting this great cause or even sign up to run yourself!  Running for a cause is a huge motivation to get out there and get healthy.

Click here to make a donation.

Click here for more information on Team Challenge.

Click here for more information on the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon.

Video of the 2011 Inaugural Virginia Wine Country Half Maration