I got involved with the Foundation through Team Challenge back when my husband and I had just gotten engaged. Chris is a Crohn's patient and I thought it would be a nice way to support him while also challenging myself. Little did I know when I got involved that the next 6 years would be filled with TREMENDOUS health challenges for Chris. When he had a colon resection surgery in 2012, shortly before our wedding, I was so thankful to have the Foundation there to provide information and support. It was our first time dealing with an ostomy and we had TONS of questions, and the Foundation helped us connect with people who had gone through similar surgeries.
When we moved from Washington DC to Seattle, I reached out to the Foundation again to find a sense of community in an unfamiliar place, and I'm so thankful that I did. Not only did staying involved lead to my dream job as a Take Steps Manager in the Northwest Chapter, but it also provided us a support system when we needed it most. This year Chris has faced his most challenging health circumstances to date, causing him to have his entire colon removed this past March. When some complications arose leaving Chris unable to walk for months, our Foundation family stepped in to support us the entire way.
We are so thankful for the research, patient programs and overall sense of community that the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation has given us. The work that this organization does gives us hope that one day we'll live in a world free of these terrible diseases!