My name is Zach Pettrey and I have had Ulcerative Colitis for almost 6 years. It all started my freshman year of Muskingum University when I started having stomach cramps. After that, I didn't want to eat anything at all. A couple of weeks after the stomach cramps hurt so much it was hard to walk around. My parents and I went to the doctor and they found out that my whole colon was inflamed. I lost 30 pounds going from around 180 pounds to around 150 pounds. I was in the hospital for a week trying to regain the weight I lost. Right now, I have been taking Remicade infusions for almost 5 years and everything has been better since.I have now graduated from college, and enjoy working with children as an assistant teacher for Dublin Latchkey.
Last fall, my younger brother Jacob began experiencing the all too familiar symptoms of stomach cramps, pain and diarrhea. He was diagnosed with Ulcerative Collitis in November. Fortunately, after a challenging couple of months, Jacob has been well controlled with medication, and will be graduating from high school this month. He will be attending OSU in the fall and we hope and pray that he will continue to be healthy and symptom-free.
This year, I will again be walking in the Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis . Take Steps is CCFA's national evening walk and celebration and the nation's largest event dedicated to finding cures for digestive diseases. It is a casual 2-3 mile stroll to raise money for crucial research, bringing us closer to a future free from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Over 1.4 million American adults and children are affected by these digestive diseases. While many suffer in silence, Take Steps brings together this community in a fun and energetic atmosphere, encouraging them to make noise and be heard.
Your donation will help support local patient programs, as well as important research projects. This cause is very important to me and I appreciate your help as we fight for a cure! In addition to donating, you can join me at the event. There will be food, music and kid's activities. The more money we raise, the closer we will be to making life more manageable for patients who live with these diseases every day.