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Susan is both the mother of an IBD patient and a patient herself, but that hasn't stopped her from completing four Team Challenge events. Susan was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2004, after many years of illness. The diagnosis and planning for managing a chronic disease seemed daunting enough, but she was in for another shock when, less than a year later, her 12-year-old son Nicholas received the same diagnosis.
As both a patient and a caregiver, Susan has experienced firsthand the havoc that IBD can have on the person suffering as well as their loved ones. Her Crohn's diagnosis abruptly halted her pursuit of a 4th-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and for Nicholas, it meant delays in his education. While he has continued to excel academically in school, he has endured five hospitalizations, three major surgeries, and countless doctor's visits. These have left him unable to graduate on time with his college class.
Inspired by her son's perseverance and determination, Susan walked her first half marathon with Team Challenge in 2013. She has completed four events since, even enlisting her husband Ira, and friend Tim to join her. At last year's event in New Orleans, Susan was the number six fundraiser in the country -- quite a feat considering she fundraised back to back with the Las Vegas event. She raised both funds and awareness by selling hand-knitted items, each featuring a tag that told her story and reason for fundraising.
When asked about the effect IBD has had on her family, Susan says, "Crohn's disease continually hangs over our head. When might the next flare be? What triggers it? What side effects will I have to suffer because of the medicines I have to take? It's like walking on eggshells. But I will walk on 13.1 miles of eggshells every year until there's a cure."
Team Challenge is transforming lives on the way to cures -- join us at our next event in New Orleans! Register now or have one of our team contact you to learn more!