Brooklyn, Take Steps to Find a Cure!

2015 Brooklyn Take Steps_Patients

The Crohn’s & Colitis Take Steps Walk is one of CCFA’s largest events committed to finding cures for digestive diseases. 

Our community consists of patients, loved ones, friends and supporters that empower and inspire each other to fight these diseases. Each year we connect with our communities as we fundraise for cures and celebrate our hard work together in supporting our patients.

To date, Take Steps has raised more than $60 million to fund mission-critical research and patient support programs. More than 80 cents of each dollar raised goes directly to funding this mission. 

Many thanks to those that were able to make it to our kickoff at the Brooklyn Brewery! If you weren't able to make it, feel free to reach out to one of us (contact info below) to learn more about Take Steps! A special thank you to Michael Yorkes Photography for taking the pictures that evening - click here to see them. 

Thank You!

Despite the weather, our 5th Annual Brooklyn Take Steps walk was attended by 150 walkers and exceeded its goal, raising more than $85,000 so far! Many thanks to those that were able to attend and a special thank you to: 

  • Our Master of Ceremony - Baruch Shemtov of Fox 5
  • Our Honored Heroes - Amanda and Cassandra Vallon
  • Analise Scarpaci for singing the National Anthem
  • Our In-Kind Photographers - Robert Braunfeld and Michael Yorkes

Click here to see the photos from the walk. 

Meet Our 2016 Brooklyn Take Steps Pediatric Honored Heroes, Amanda and Cassandra Vallon, who are also sisters! 

2016 Brooklyn Take Steps_Amanda Vallon"My name is Amanda Vallon and I have had ulcerative colitis for four years. I have experienced many ups and downs, but now I am in remission. 

I was diagnosed in February of 2012, but I was misdiagnosed and unable to find a treatment that worked for a very long time. I also had bad side effects from every medicine, including worsening IBD symptoms, osteopenia, and avascular necrosis from steroids. With the support of my friends, family, and doctors, I kept pushing through until we found a treatment that worked. When I look back, I realize how I have learned so much about myself since being diagnosed with IBD. I have learned to never be ashamed of having an illness. Although I would never have chosen to have IBD, I have become much stronger and learned to be an example for other kids who want to use NG tube feeds, especially during the day.

I have also learned to not let this diagnosis define me. It is something that happened to me, but it isn’t me. I am so much more than IBD. I am so glad to have the opportunity to raise money and awareness for IBD with this walk. It is so important that we make it possible for researchers to find better diagnostic tools and tests, so that misdiagnoses don’t happen." Click here to read more about Amanda!

2016 Brooklyn Take Steps Honored Hero_Cassandra Vallon"Hello, my name is Cassandra Vallon. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was 12.

When I first started having symptoms, I did not want to think I had what my sister had, after seeing all the pain she went through while she was sick. I kept eating whatever I wanted and the symptoms kept getting worse. 

When I learned I had UC I was a little scared, because I did not want to go through what my sister had gone through. I soon learned that I was lucky to know someone who had felt what I was feeling, who I could talk with about what was happening. Since they were able to diagnose my condition early, I did not have to take any medications and I did not go to the hospital. All I had to do was change my diet a little bit. I was able to change my diet by adding probiotics and fermented foods and removing gluten, and I was able to reverse the damage as long as I avoided the triggers. 

I am very happy to be one of CCFA’s honored heroes so that I can help recognize all of the families and friends who go through this with us. IBD is a terrible disease and sometimes it’s really hard to get it under control.  As a family member and sibling of an IBD sufferer, before being diagnosed, I did not understand what my sister was going through and why everyone was making a big deal out of it.  It was a very stressful and exhausting time and even though we had each other, we each felt alone. Now that I have been diagnosed and understand how hard it is to live with this disease, I encourage you all to be there for each other, to give each other support and compassion, even when it is most stressful." Click here to read more about Cassandra.

Be A Take Steps MVP!

  • Awareness Builder: Raise $100 to receive a 2016 Take Steps t-shirt on walk day
  • Inspiration Creator: Raise $500 to access an exclusive CCFA research webinar
  • Hope Giver: Raise $1,000 to receive special identification on walk day
  • Cures Believer Team: Raise $5,000 as a team to receive your own top team tent

Click here to see all of the benefits you'll receive as an MVP and to see who our current Most Valuable Particpants are!

Congrats To Our Top Fundraisers of 2016!

  • #1 Friends & Family Team: Our Inspiration led by the Scarola Family (Brooklyn Take Steps) - $34,615
  • #1 Corporate Team: National IBD Assassins led by James Testaverde, Lauren King, and Sadhana Jacob (NYC Take Steps) - $40,709
  • #1 GI Team: The Feinstein IBD Center at Mount Sinai led by Dr. Ryan Ungaro, Sonia Pagan-Pastor, and Dr. James Marion (NYC Take Steps) - $14,710
  • Top Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig - $10,000
  • Top Media Sponsor: Fox 5 NY

*fundraising as of 10/12/16

Click here to see a full list! 

6 Steps to put the fun in FUNdraising: 

Step 1: Set a realistic and meaningful goal for your team.
There is no cost to register and no fundraising minimum. It is up to you to set a personally meaningful and significant goal for you and your team. Communicate that goal to your team members and work together to achieve it dividing the goal among each other.

Step 2: Add your personal touch and share your story.
Compose a passionate and individualized letter about why you are walking and how people can support your fundraising efforts and update your personal fudraising page.

Step 3: It's more fun with friends!
Ask your friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers to join your team and help you to spread awareness and reach your team’s fundraising goal through their contacts.

Step 4: Raise Money.
The national fundraising average per person is $250.  Set a High Aim goal.  Ask the businesses you frequent, or even better, ask your own company! Lead by example, by making the first donation your own!

Step 5: Create Excitement!
Design a team t-shirt or a unique team identifier, share information on social media, and create a team fundraiser that gets your community involved! Need ideas? Ask your walk team.

Step 6: Celebrate Your Team’s Success!
Attend the walk. Take a team photo. Plan a post walk celebration! 

Meet our Greater New York Chapter Walk Staff:

Ali Berger
Ali Berger
Walk Director

Kim Pang 2.jpg 
Kim Pang
Walk Coordinator