I woke up this morning with this distinct feeling that I forgot something. I didn’t get to read my speech exactly like I wrote it, and I feel like I may have left a few things out. So I’ve decided to write it out here, with a few additions, some great pictures and the big news!
I was asked a couple weeks ago if this was a passion of mine.
This being hosting fundraisers.
This being volunteering with both the Take Steps and Team Challenge events throughout the state.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease almost four years ago.
I was on medications for three years that helped me feel the best that I had felt in a long time.
This past April, I had to stop one of the medications because we thought I was having an immune reaction.
A blessing in disguise, I suppose I am off that harsh medication and I’ve been able to manage my symptoms with the help of natural remedies.
But that reaction that I had, well it’s still here. No doctor seems to know why. Or what it is. Or how it can go away. And next week I finally see a specialist, which I have been waiting four months to see.
I can only hope she might have some answers.
There are 1.6 million Americans that are affected with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases including Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
I am not alone.
And that brings me to my answer. Yes, this is a huge passion of mine.
I don’t just spend many hours in the doctors office or take many trips to get blood work done. I don’t just drive 45 minutes to see my Naturopath and get acupuncture treatments. It’s not just about the insane amount of medical bills I have to pay just to feel healthy.
I stand here in front of you today, because of the group of people I first met when I was diagnosed. And I haven’t looked back.
I found the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, better known as the CCFA, six months after I was diagnosed. Four months after that I crossed the finish line running my first half marathon raising over $5,000 for the CCFA.
Through that experience I met people who knew the frustrations of the disease. Who understood that every symptom doesn’t make sense. And some answers are harder to find than others.
When I tell people Crohn’s disease changed my life, it isn’t because there is a disease running through my intestines. It is because of the people I have met along the way.
I found comfort in my fellow patients.
I found strength I didn’t know I had within myself.
And every day I am determined to find answers. To find cures. For all of us to feel better.
Thank you for Stony Creek Brewery for having us.
Thank you to Ryan and Assaggio for the delicious food.
Thank you to Tracey Jo & the Toads for the wonderful music.
Thank you all for being here. I know some of you I have just met for the first time. Others I have known my entire life. Some of you are my best friends, who know more about my complaints than you probably deserve.
Thank you to my brother who consistently inspires me and was unable to make it today because he just happen to move to London yesterday.
And to my parents… who help me in more ways than I could ever put into words.
And Mom, I am so impressed that you are taking on your first half marathon next year. I know you can do it. My only advice, is don’t cry your brains out like I did. They don’t make for pretty pictures to look back on!
Thank you all.
The event raised just over $2,000 and with additional donations from those that could not make it, I am soooo pleased to say just over $4,500 dollars which will go to fund research to find cures for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
I am truly blessed, thank you for supporting my passion.