Westfield, Take Steps to Find a Cure!
Hello from Walk Manager, Jessica Gale! Welcome to the 2016 Take Steps Event!
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 sponors!
Meet our 2016 HONOREE...
My name is Samantha Stratton and I am going into my senior year of high school at Agawam High. My story starts in the summer at the end of seventh grade. It was the morning of July 5th that I was rushed to the hospital from my house due to a massive intestinal bleed. Once I arrived at the hospital, I had various tests run on me. I was about to get another test done when nurses came rushing down the hall telling my parents and the other doctors that I needed to have a blood transfusion. I ended up getting about 2 pints of blood. While in the hospital I also had a colonoscopy and endoscopy done but the doctors did not find where I was bleeding from or why I had such a massive bleed. To this day they still have no idea what caused the bleed.
Two days later I left the hospital and was told that from this bleed I became anemic so I had to get my blood tested every six months to make sure my levels did not drop any lower. I also had to test my stool occasionally to make sure that I was not still bleeding internally. My freshmen year of high school is when my stomach pains started. My parents and I ignored it and blamed it on my Gastroschisis, which was a birth defect I had when I was born, where all my intestines where on the outside of my body. My parents always thought that was the reason for my usual stomach pains. By the end of my freshmen year, I became noticeably pale and skinny. It was to a point where everyone was noticing and I was losing weight and I felt weak. The fall of my sophomore year I was told that I had blood in my stool and I was sent back to Doctor Hirsch. He told me that I would have to have another colonoscopy and endoscopy done. On December 31, 2015 I had my procedure done and was told shortly after that I had Crohn’s Disease. When I found out I had Crohn’s, I remember having no idea what it was. Doctor Hirsch talked to me about it and gave me packets of information about it.
Personally I was angry that I had Crohn’s. I was embarrassed that I had it and I never wanted to talk about it with anyone. At times I would try to forget that I even had it. I shut everyone out who tried to help me with it because I wanted nothing to do with it. Then a member of the Baystate Medical Center staff named Rebecca Lynch, who was also my soccer coach introduced me to the Crohn’s Walk. At first I did not know if I wanted people knowing I had Crohn’s because I was embarrassed about it. Once she and I told various people that I had Crohn’s, I got a ton of love and support from my friends and family. CCFA has definitely helped me open up more about having Crohn’s and that it is nothing that I should be embarrassed about because a lot of people have it and are dealing with it every day like me.
Today I am much stronger than I was a year ago. I am currently on a combination therapy of Imuran and Humira, which are injections that I have to do every two weeks. I have been on Humira for a year now. I hope that when people read my story it will encourage them to never give up and to not be embarrassed but to embrace the help that their family and friends are trying to give. I am honored and extremely grateful to have been chosen as an honoree this year at the 2016 Western Massachusetts Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis walk.
|No Ifs, Ands, or Butts||Dr. John||Wysocki||856|
|Love my Chronic Bad A$$||Valerie||Werner-Martin||660|
|Steps For Strat||Michelle||Strattner||405|
|Game of Crohns||Halie||St.Sauveur||175|
|FUN C.R.A.P., powered by CheckWriters||Carly||Fallon||115|
|Stampin' Shelly's Stompers||Michelle||Downie||115|
|Baystate Specialty Pharmacy||Chris||Conboy||50|
FUNDRAISING TIP/MATCHING GIFTS: Have you been matched?
Matching-gifts are an easy way to significantly increase the impact of your contributions. Many companies around the country donate funds to match gifts made by their employees to non-profit organizations. A dollar-for-dollar match is common, and some companies will even contribute up to two or three dollars for each dollar an employee gives. Some even match gifts made by retirees and spouses!
So what are you waiting for? Ask your company today if it offers a matching-gift program, and request a matching-gift form. Send us the completed and signed form via mail, email or fax and we will do the rest.
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!
Please mail offline donations to:
CCFA New England
ATTN: Take Steps Western Massachusetts
72 River Park Street, Suite 202
Needham, MA 02494
Contact Jessica with questions:
207-649-9573 or email@example.com