Tag Archives: fundraising

What I do to help bring research and awareness to Crohn’s disease, IBD and ostomies.

Follow Friday: Kickstart in style

I have realized recently that even though ostomies and inflammatory bowel disease are not often discussed topics, there still are a lot of great resources out there. There are organizations, business and blogs that you can go to for information, apparel, advice, comfort, merchandise and many other things. I thought it would be a nice idea to highlight some of the places I have come across. So here’s my first Follow Friday ostomy/IBD style!

For anyone living with or faced with getting an ostomy, one of the biggest concerns is being able to feel comfortable in your own skin. I remember thinking before I had surgery, how would I ever feel sexy again? How would I be able to look at myself the same way ever again? And right around the same time that I was asking myself those questions, Awestomy was gearing up to start making undergarments for people living with an ostomy.Awestomy-BrandLogos

Their products are aimed at giving security and confidence to their wearers, and also allowing for some humor. They sell booty shorts for women that are high-waisted with lace and include a pocket for your ostomy bag. They have wraps for men and women that help keep the bag in place and smooth and also have a pocket for extra support. And for those who appreciate a sense of humor, they sell a number of t-shirts with phrases such as “Brown Baggin’ It” and “mama’s got a brand new bag” on them.

Awestomy is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $5000 that will allow them to ramp up their production abilities, research new lines of ostomy clothing, and put together a strong marketing campaign. What’s more, they have pledge levels starting at $1 and they have some great incentives for your donation, from ostomy apparel to getting to choose one of your next sayings for their stickers to even getting to be a fit tester for the company where you give feedback on the products and you get to keep all of your test items! They have a video on the page that talks about the company and what they hope to accomplish through the campaign. Continue reading

Hello, Team Challenge! (Day 1 in Virginia)

I survived the 4 1/2 hour drive up from Raleigh to Leesburg, VA, today! I think that’s the farthest I’ve ever driven by myself. And honestly, it wasn’t that bad. Jarrod and I got up early to get me over to the rental car company. (We realized it would actually be cheaper to rent a car with good gas mileage to drive than it would be to drive the Tahoe.) I set off at 7:20 a.m. and got here just before noon. It was an uneventful trip, which is always best.

leesburg virginia team challenge view scenic stephanie hughes stolen colon crohns ostomy blogI went immediately in search of food and stopped for a turkey sandwich and salad. I tried the hotel while over there and they told me that my room was already available even though check in wasn’t for another few hours. I went ahead and got settled into the room and made my way over to the race expo to get my race bib and sign in. I was pretty tired by this point and didn’t feel like doing much, so I watched a little TV and relaxed for a little bit. Then got up for a shower and made myself presentable right about the time everyone else was arriving.

We had a group meeting earlier and it was great to finally get to sit down with everyone who’s a part of this. A couple of people I had never even met. We went through all of the details we will need for the race tomorrow and made sure we all know where we’re supposed to be and when. The coach talked a lot about the weather for tomorrow and said that no one should be trying to PR tomorrow (race speak for setting your personal record.) This actually made me feel a little better. I was never going for my best time, but I still felt that I should be improving and not doing worse than my last race. Because of the heat, she said you should plan to add at least 10 or maybe 20 minutes onto your expected time. It could be a long day…

team challenge pasta party virginia spirit lineAnd I just got back from the day before the race pasta party. This part is, to me, the most important part of this whole thing. It’s where everyone comes together and cheers each other on and knows that we are all there for the same reason. The run is kind of secondary to that. It was a great night of hearing inspiring stories and learning that, as a group, the Virginia runners have raised over $950,000! That’s just amazing and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

But I need to sign off now. The race starts in less than 10 hours and I’ll be waking up in less than 7. I’ll be back after those 13.1 miles!

A lot of ground to cover in one month

Stolen colon crohns ostomy blog ccfa team challenge half marathon colitis team challenge tuesdayIn just a few hours, it will be May 1st, which means we are exactly one month away from my half-marathon on Virginia. It is hard to believe it is coming up so quickly. I feel like there is so much to be done. So I have been trying to get caught up on some rest, but I have to jump back in tomorrow.

Training has been good. I made it through 7 miles on Sunday with a steady run/walk pace, averaging under 12-minute-miles. But I am still pretty far behind. The Team Challenge group is preparing to run 10 miles this weekend and I think trying to hit that goal is going to be pushing it just a little. I am staying in contact with our team coach on what she thinks might be an appropriate training schedule for me in these coming weeks. I’ve got a lot of ground to make up, but I’m feeling positive about it.

I am also a little behind on fundraising, but picking up the pace there, as well. The Happy Hour and Belk Charity Day Sale have gotten me back in the game and I’m still waiting to find out how much I brought in by working the day of the sale. Hopefully that will bring me even closer to my goal. At this point, I’m not worried about reaching it, but I am a little disappointed in myself for not working on it the way I had planned at the beginning. But as I’ve said before, I just took on too much and got caught up in all of it.

I’m getting up early to get in a quick 4 mile run in the morning. I wish the sun was up a little earlier so I could run outside, but I suppose the treadmill will have to do for now. I have been tempted to sleep in, but with only a few short weeks left and already being behind, I have to stay on top of the training. It’s going to be an intense month leading up to this race.


Just call me the Party Planner

It’s been a busy week. It has been filled with events and fundraisers and lots of planning for those events. Last night, we held our “happy hour” event at Top of the Hill. (Many thanks to Top’o for generously allowing us to use their venue and offering us some great incentives.) We had some wonderful friends come join us for food and drinks. It wasn’t quite the event we were hoping for, mostly because, due to time constraints, we weren’t able to publicize it as much as we would have liked. But we still raised several hundred dollars for Team Challenge, so definitely a success in my opinion!

top of the hill eventI’m so mad at myself for not taking any pictures! I only took this one silly one of the table as you walked in and didn’t even think about grabbing any more during the event.

And now, it’s time for more events! I’m going to start tomorrow off at Belk for their Charity Day sale. Hopefully that will help bring in even more for my race. It’s only 5 weeks away and coming quick, and I still have a good ways to go to reach my goal.

Following the Belk sale, I will be heading out the Take Steps Walk on Centennial Campus. I’ve had a really good time working on the event for the past several months. But I’m not going to lie, it has been a lot more work that I hard originally imagined. I definitely had not planned on doing so much all at once. I had planned to join the walk committee and that was it. But then the opportunity with Team Challenge came up and I had already committed to the walk, by that time. I quickly found out that I had taken on too much for my own good, but I wanted to stick with it. It has been a very busy couple of months and all of it has hit an apex this week.

I am excited about the event tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for a good cause. But I am also looking forward to it being done. That means I will actually have some time to relax on focus on my half-marathon and everything else coming up. I would definitely be up for doing a committee like this again, but I need a bit of a break.

But I am ready to go out tomorrow and enjoy the day with a bunch of people who are all fighting for the same thing. And I’ll try to remember to take pictures this time!