Atlanta Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis

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This is an exciting year for us because, once again, we will be participating in the Take Steps Walk for Crohn's & Colitis Foundation (CCFA) AND our b’not mitzvah is just around the corner!!   Last year, was our first year participating in the Take Steps Walk and we had such a great time that we decided to make fundraising for Crohn’s & Colitis research our b'not mitzvah project! Please support us!

One in every 200 people suffer daily with digestive diseases.  Crohn disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that was once considered rare in kids, but is now recognized as one of the most serious chronic diseases that affect children and adolescents. Approximately 20-30% of all patients with Crohn disease present when they are younger than 20 years.  In addition to the common GI symptoms (diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and abdominal pain), children with Crohn disease often experience growth failure, malnutrition, pubertal delay, and bone demineralization.

As most of you know, our family has been personally affected by Crohn’s disease.  Alison was diagnosed on March 6, 2013.

I had always been a ‘picky’ eater and never seemed to gain weight.  At my 11-year checkup, our pediatrician noticed that my white blood cells were too high and both my weight and height had dropped. My red blood count was so low that I was anemic.  I suffered from horrible stomach cramps on a daily basis and couldn’t get through a meal without running to the bathroom.  I was miserable.  I endured a colonoscopy (the prep was the worst part!) and endoscopy.  I even had a video camera shaped pill put in my digestive system to capture pictures of my damaged colon.  After several weeks on a steroid called, Prednisone, I started receiving Remicade infusions, lasting 2 ½ to three hours, every 8-weeks (this is like chemotherapy for your colon) and will continue to have these infusions for the rest of my life.  It’s been almost a year since my diagnosis and, thanks to Remicade and the guidance of my fabulous doctors, my disease has been in remission.  In addition, I was lucky enough to experience overnight camp for the first time this past summer by joining other kids with this chronic illness at Camp Oasis, in Winder, GA.  I had an amazing experience and met kids who deal with the same struggles.  It was awesome to be with other kids just like me!

Jillian has been extremely supportive of me too... 

I am very proud of my sister.  I know it's not easy to get those infusions every couple of months but Ali does it without complaining.  She gets to miss school but has to be organized enough to plan ahead and keep up with tests and homework.  I was excited to be part of Ali’s Team last year – The Indigestibles – and I am looking forward to raising money for treatment and research again this year.  I learned that people with Jewish ancestry are more prone to Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Disease.  The more awareness we can bring to these illnesses, the closer we come to finding cures! 

We both are very excited to be supporting Ali’s Team again this year and hopefully we can raise more money than last year.  In honor of our b’not mitzvah, we have made a bold commitment to raise much-needed funds to find a cure for digestive diseases. Our goal is to raise $1800 each, for a total of $3600.  We hope you will consider supporting us by clicking the link below and donate to our fundraising efforts. If you prefer, you can also send your contribution directly to us. Your support is greatly appreciated and very much needed.

Please be sure to also check with your company to see if they will match your gift. Simply return your company's completed matching gift form to me and I will forward to CCFA.  Your tax-deductible donation will truly make a difference in the thousands of lives suffering with IBD. If you are interested in joining us on walk day and helping our fundraising efforts, please register to join our team – The Indigestibles.

We appreciate your support and will keep you posted on our progress.

With much love,

Jillian & Alison