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I have met the most amazing people through the Team Challenge program who have become my closest friends! We are all working toward the same goal... finding a cure for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. — Leigh

When you join the Team, not only will you receive a comprehensive program to help you achieve your fitness goals, but you will become part of the Team Challenge family. As a Team, we challenge ourselves, change lives and fundraise for cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - two painful, debilitating, and seldom-discussed digestive diseases. With Team Challenge, you become part of the solution!

Why join Team Challenge?

Here’s what Team Challenge offers you:

 

Summer season begins in April!

Upcoming Events

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans

A new addition to the Team Challenge roster, New Orleans is one of the country’s most culturally, architecturally and musically interesting cities. The Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, and 10K unfolds along a course through the city in the days leading up to Mardi Gras, the annual pre-Lent party to end all parties! 

Event Date: March 4, 2018



Race In Orange

Team Challenge is excited to announce a new option in the fight against Crohn’s & Colitis. Whether you love to run/walk a 5k, get dirty in a mud run, cruise in a cycle event, or tri a triathlon…you can now help support CCFA's mission with no fundraising commitment! Set your own goal. The more you raise, the more rewards you receive!


Honored Hero

Meet Honored Hero Fiona Lynch

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 Hello, My name is Fiona lynch and I’m very excited and grateful to be chosen as this year's
honored hero. I was only 6 years old when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
It took them about 3 months to diagnosis but leading up to my diagnosis I lost
a lot of weight, would miss weeks of kindergarten, had severe stomach pain,
mouth ulcers, constant fevers, and would go to the bathroom almost every
hour. 

On March 5th, 2006, While getting a scope done to see if I had Crohn’s disease they perforated my colon which caused my organs and feces to mix. I immediately went into emergency surgery and had 9 inches of my small intestine removed. They also had to place a colostomy bag which I had on for 6 months. After the surgery I went into the ICU for 2 weeks, then to the medical floor which I would stay for a year.

During elementary school it was a little easier with only being in the hospital for once a year. But In 6th grade, I had another big flare and had another bowel resection which caused me to be out of school for another few months. 

My highschool years on the other hand have been a real roller coaster. During my freshman year of High School I was in an out of the hospital for another flare, and same with Sophmore year. Junior year I had another big flare in November which had me in the Hospital for another bowel resection plus strictureplasty and was hospitalized for another 3 months. And because of the surgery I would be out of school for the rest of the year. 
In the middle of my Junior year, my school and I had alawsuit going on which was about my Crohn’s.
Because I had missed so muchschool they didn't want to help me get caught up. They thought my Crohn’s
disease was very costly for them, and they didn't want to help me. But luckily
with the help of my doctors, and lawyers I won the case. 

It’s my Senior year of high school right now, and I just got out of the hospital again a few weeks ago from being in the hospital since early December due to another big flare, another bowel resection and strictureplasty. I was in the hospital for 3 months including Christmas for the second year in a row.

Because of my Crohn’s disease I have been through 8 surgeries, countless medicines (remicade, steroids, 6mp, humira, cimzia, methotrexate, tysabri, and vedolizumab) infusions, scans, MRI’s, endoscopies, colonoscopies, diets, blood work, and many more) I also had a G-Tube put in when I was 12 years old because I kept having to do nutritional therapy.  

Because of my Crohn's disease though, I found out that I want to go to school, and become a nurse. I hope to work at a hospital, and help kids. Even though I’ve never been in remission I still have hope of a future cure for Crohn’s disease but until then I rely on my courage, strength, and optimism.

Coaches

 

Coach Bill

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Bill has been coaching with Team Challenge for 6 years but he has been running his
whole life. Born from a family of runners, he ran his first 5K at age 6 and
hasn't stopped running on the road, trail, or the soccer field since. 
Always looking for new challenges and to test his endurance, Bill is a
participant in Urban Adventure Races, has (intentionally) climbed the stairs of
the Sears Tower in Chicago, and is aspiring to climb both Mt. Rainier and
Mt. Everest (someday). Having completed a bunch of 1/2 marathons, 4 full
marathons, and too many other races to count, Bill is primed and ready to help
you reach all of your goals and get you across the finish line!

 

 

Coach Luke

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I am excited to be coaching again with Team Challenge Northwest to prepare for
the Napa & Saratoga Half Marathon's this summer.  This will be my
third event with Team Challenge Northwest and I am excited about helping the
team achieve their goals and get to the finish line.  I have been a runner
all my life and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctosigmoiditis in the fall of
2009.  Since being diagnosed I have developed and depended on the support
network of my family and friends and the Crohn's & Colitis
Foundation.  My past coaching experience was as an assistant for cross
country team's at St. John's Grade School & Bishop Blanchet High School as
well as a Level 1 PSIA Ski Instructor at the Summit at Snoqualmie.  I am
active runner, recreational triathlete, skier, & also enjoy hiking &
mountaineering in the Cascade Mountains.  I look forward to training with
the team and having fun along the way.

 


Mentors

Mentor Karen

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Hi! My name is Karen, and this will be my 7th season with Team Challenge.
I was recently selected to serve on the National Team Challenge Alumni Committee.
I hope to bring what I learn from the committee to our local chapter, but more importantly
what I learn from all of you to the committe. My brothers and nephew all suffer
from Crohn’s Disease, and I have seen the effects these diseases have on them.
I have watched them struggle through some tough times with good humor and
grace. We have laughed and cried many times. I wanted and needed to find
a way to help, to give back in some way, and found Team Challenge. I found an
extended family, new friends and a vehicle to help those that live with Crohn’s
and Colitis. I gained much more than I expected in joining Team Challenge, and
I hope to add more extended family members this season. I look forward to meeting all of you and 
helping all of you reach your goals!


Mentor Denny

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When I was in my early 20’s I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The day I was diagnosed,
I’d never heard of the disease, I remember my doctor telling me, “We don’t know how you get
it and there is no cure, you’re in for a long road ahead”. I didn’t even know what to think, I just
moved on as if nothing was different. Unfortunately things got much worse with multiple ER trips,
surgeries, treatments/infusions, etc.  Fast forward years, I found myself with a desire to get
involved with a non-profit foundation to give time and raise awareness. I couldn’t just get involved
with any foundation, it had to be something that I felt was important to me and I had a connection to.
This is what lead me to Team Challenge. Just on a whim I decided to make contact and attend a kickoff.
At first I was really reluctant, it was just a little out of my comfort zone. That quickly ended before
leaving the meeting that night and yup, I was going to join.  Little did I know that getting involved
with Team Challenge would lead to meeting some of the most amazing people and acquiring a
second family. In the beginning joining Team Challenge was for selfish reasons. During my first
season , after hearing the stories of others and meeting some kids that have and continue to
struggle with the disease, that quickly changed. I now stay with Team Challenge and run on
behalf of my #TCFamily. 


Mentor Molly

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I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was
twenty-one, just before my senior year of college.  I had never heard of
IBD and I was so scared that I swore my parents to secrecy and lived in denial
for the next decade, telling no one and doing my best to ignore my
disease.  But then I found Team Challenge!  Standing up at our first
practice and telling everyone that I had UC was one of the most liberating
things I have ever done.  From there I went on to tell my family and
friends, and I haven't regretted it for a nanosecond.  Napa will be my
third TC event, and I can't wait!

Mentor Summer

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I'm Summer! I love macaroni and cheese, horror movies
and Krav Maga. This will be my third season with Team Challenge and my first as
a mentor. I was officially diagnosed with Crohn's disease in July 2013, but I
try not to let IBD define me. I joined Team Challenge because two of my
friends, who also have Crohn's/ulcerative colitis, participated in TC events.
They told me how supportive the TC Family is and encouraged me to run and raise
awareness for those who can't.  I've met so many patients and caregivers through Team Challenge - their stories,
struggles, and triumphs are why I keep coming back. I look forward to meeting you all and having you as part of our ever-growing #TCFamily!

 

 

Additional Details

Bring Team Challenge to Your Office!
Our local staff will present a program overview and share how you and your co-workers can make a difference. Contact Seattle Manager Nicole Kittelson to learn more or schedule a visit.

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Nicole Kittelson
Endurance Manager, Team Challenge
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation - Northwest Chapter
9 Lake Bellevue Dr., Suite 203 Bellevue, WA 98005
Email: nkittelson@crohncolitisfoundation.org    Tel: 425-451-8455  x5     Fax: 425-451-1708

Sara Honored hero