Portland, Take Steps to Find a Cure!
The Crohn’s & Colitis Take Steps Walk is one of CCFA’s largest events committed to finding cures for digestive diseases. Our walks offer an incredible day for family, friends and the community to come together in celebration of all their hard work and dedication to our mission.
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. Find a walk in your local community and join thousands of others Taking Steps for cures.
Thank you to our sponsors!
|Sabrina||Cornelli||Crohn Wars: Attack of the Cures|
|Julia||Crotty||The Double Flushers|
|Pamela||Davis||Hiking for Hannah|
|Jeanna||Day||Webster-Day Walking Tall|
|Rebecca||Day||Team Lily Irene|
|Michael||Flaherty||Sh*ts & Giggles :)|
|Crystal||Gilks||Life Takes Guts|
|Megan||Harding||The Good Sh*t|
|Samantha||Jean||Saco & Biddeford Savings & Team Sam|
|Jessica||Lockman||The Ileum and the Odyssey|
|Helena||Nicholson||FORE RIVER WALKERS|
|Kelsey||O'Neill||Got Guts. Do You?|
|Claire||Starks||Team Claire Bear|
|Lauren||Caramihalis||Walk For The Runs|
|Cynthia||Davis||Step Ahead of Crohns|
|Daniel (DJ)||Hanson||DJ's Crohnnies|
|Kayla||Landry||Crazy for a Cure|
|Kristina||Morin||Zero $hits given|
Meet our 2016 Honoree
My introduction to inflammatory bowel disease came in spring of 2006, at the age of seventeen, when I was diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis. My treatment began with a regiment including steroids, immunosuppressant medications and Remicaid infusion therapy during senior year. In 2007, I left Maine to study and play lacrosse at Clark University in Worcester, MA. The complications got worse and by February 2009, I was forced to cut my second semester short and leave school to undergo surgery to have my entire colon removed. After five years and relatively no major issues, I was admitted to the hospital in November of 2014, with a perforated bowel that occurred when a loop of intestine that had adhered to the area repaired in 2009 separated. Complications left me with an ileostomy and a drain protruding from my lower abdomen. When contacting the hospital, I was told that my previous doctor had retired and a new doctor would take over. Several unsuccessful procedures later, the doctor attempted to reverse the ileostomy and in the process created two new fistulas and an infection. While in the hospital I discovered I had been mislead and that the doctor I was looking for had moved to a new hospital. I immediately sought him out and upon arrival I was admitted, an exploratory operation was scheduled and afterward the doctor informed me that the ileostomy was reversed before the perforation closed and the fistulas were directly connected to my pelvic cavity, which was infected. Two weeks later I was released from the hospital and the doctor advised me that I would have the ileostomy indefinitely while my body recovered from the six surgeries. It was at this time that I discovered the Maine chapter of the CCFA and the incredible groups of people who make up its community. My sister and I decided to put together a team for the CCFA Take Steps walk and while we were humbled by the fundraising success, it was the opportunity to meet the other teams and members of the community that left the largest impact. This community was comprised of members both young and old that were directly or indirectly affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The courage and strength of those affected was matched only by the love and support of their friends and family.
Read Sam's full story here...
Meet Pediatric Honoree
When you meet Claire, you wouldn’t know she has Crohn’s disease. She’s just a kid. Once she gets past the initial shyness of an 8 year old, most people can’t help but be struck by her unconditional love for everyone, even people she’s just met. Frequently, she shows that love with a great big bear hug that if you are not paying attention, could knock you over. She displays an infectious love of life that radiates warmth, compassion and hope.
But she does have Crohn’s. Having been diagnosed at age 6, she has already endured many struggles and sacrifices associated with her illness. She found out about her diagnosis because she was scared of being at school. Her teachers and guidance counsellor thought she had anxiety adapting to first grade. This was an explanation that to many seemed to fit, but really it did not. She loves the schoolwork. She reads voraciously, well above her level. She loves math. She has great friends. When you really asked her about it, she simply had too much belly pain. She was afraid to go to recess because she was afraid of having an accident on the playground in front of her friends. She had leg pains that didn’t seem typical for growing pains, especially since she wasn’t growing, not like her friends. Then we found she was anemic and she had blood in her stool.
We found great help through the Portland GI group that led to the diagnosis. Dr. Furr has been tireless in working up Claire’s condition as well as explaining the potential treatments and their risks in a clear, compassionate way. Claire has begun to learn a new language, a medical language, borne out through experience: intravenous catheters, GD, capsule endoscopy, colonoscopy, MRI, anesthesia. She has been through three failed medication trials and finally has settled into Remicaide, which she has thus far tolerated without signs of developing antibodies.
More than most 8 year old children, she lives her life beyond herself and is aware of the future and its possibilities. When kids should be thinking of playdates and after school sports, she thinks about what foods will upset her, where is the nearest bathroom, whether she may need an operation, an ileostomy. Many would let this get to them, let them become angry or depressed. To date, this has not happened with Claire. Quite the opposite, she thinks of others, sees their eeds, eases their pain. She is the friend on the playground that engages the neglected child. Over the last year, she, her sister and her best friend began a project of making “feely hearts,” small, hand sewn fleece hearts that they take to various places, such as local hospitals and nursing homes to give them to people in need of emotional support. Currently, these three girls have made about 400 and given about 250 away, one at a time, each with a conversation and a heartwarming smile.
Through numerous tests, multiple medications, and the persistent physical discomfort and fatigue caused by her illness, she is a shining example of what it means to battle one of life’s biggest challenges with grace and dignity. Thanks to her unfaltering optimism, supportive family, great medical care and her new medication, Claire has been able to resume two more of her loves: learning and gymnastics. She recently made the gymnastics team and can do a mean “back hip circle” on the bar. No longer hampered by unbearable stomach pain and body aches, she is more determined than ever to show the world what strength, courage and faith really are.
TEAM CLAIRE BEAR IS SETTING THEIR FUNDRASING GOAL TO $7500! GO TEAM!!!
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!
Have you collected donations that need to be applied to your fundraising page?
MAIL OFFLINE DONATIONS TO:CCFA New England72 River Park StSuite 202Needham, MA 02494
Attention: Jessica Gale, Maine Take Steps
Visit the New England Chapter Website: CLICK HERE
Find a support group: Click Here
Reach out to the IBD Help Center: Click Here