Getting involved in the fight to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have every made. I realized that living with this disease would mean nothing, other than pain and frustration, if I didn’t use my experiences to help others.
I started small, by volunteering for a couple of local events and taking part in a support group, but I soon saw the enormous benefit of surrounding myself with people who can relate and who are dedicated the same cause. The most profound moment came while in Las Vegas for the Team Challenge half-marathon and sitting in a room surrounded by hundreds of people whose lives have been impacted by IBD. It was there that I truly understood the importance of being involved in something bigger than yourself. And I wanted to continue to be a part of it.
This year, I will be taking part in my second half-marathon with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, this time as a mentor. The role of the mentor is be involved with the participants in the race, encouraging them in both their training and fundraising. The mentors help bring in new runners and coordinate fundraising events.
Team Challenge is more than just signing up for a race. It’s a 16-week training program that includes the support and community of the whole group. There are two big events this season: half-marathons in Virginia wine country and Chicago.
I would be so honored to have some of you on my team. I’d love to get out and run and work together to raise the money to bring more research and awareness to these diseases. Plus, what a better time to check that exercising or race goal off your list? I cannot tell you what a great feeling it was to cross that finish line at the end of the race.
Please let me know if you’re interested in learning more. I guarantee, you will not regret it.