Going the Distance to Napa and Making an Impact
Erik was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when he was just 7 years old, and he had already been battling the devastating effects of the disease for months before that. Even though we were used to managing an outwardly invisible medical issue with his PKU (Phenylketonuria - short of it is he can't eat protein), this new diagnosis was a debilitating new challenge for Erik and our family. After trying many different therapies, we have landed on a handful of daily pills plus a Humira shot every 2 weeks to keep him moderately stable and in "clinical remission." He is functional, but far from cured.
I joined Team Challenge (the endurance team for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation) almost 3 years ago to run 1/2 marathons in support of the fight for better therapies, to raise money which funds research, and to support sufferers of these diseases (and their caregivers). It is an effort I have found fulfilling on many levels, and has had a real, tangible impact. However, it's not just me - you who have donated and who I ask to donate during this Napa 1/2 Marathon season I'm training for - you have had an impact and continue to have an impact. Let me give you an example: I went to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Education Day earlier this Spring - where healthcare providers at all levels shared detailed research, current approaches, recommendations, resources, and more - and was extremely impressed with not only the level of dedication to fighting these diseases that was shown, but most importantly to Erik, exciting new therapies on the brink of being more commonly available in the next few years. It is important that we continue to support the research and progress that is being made.
At Education Day, I also met a 9-year-old girl, Gabby, who hung out with us in the Team Challenge area and was just the sweetest, most energetic kid you could imagine. You'd never know that she suffered not only from Crohn's Disease AND ulcerative colitis, but also Celiac Disease. Talk about challenges! It was both heartbreaking and inspiring to spend time with her. She will be attending Camp Oasis for the first time this summer, which she is understandably excited about. Camp Oasis is the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation sponsored camp for kids that supports a staff of healthcare providers and appropriate camp nutrition so that kids don't have to worry about managing their disease alone while away from home. This is just one of many important programs that you support with your donation, and will allow kids like Gabby and Erik to have a summer camp experience.
Would you be able to support my 1/2 marathon run in Napa at $10 per mile ($131)? $50 per mile ($655)? Or even $100 per mile ($1,310)? Every dollar counts, is appreciated, and goes toward the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation mission, which uses over 80 cents of every dollar on vital support programs. The Foundation has earned a 4-star rating (the highest) from Charity Navigator for 4 consecutive years and has the highest rating from the Better Business Bureau – it is an organization I am proud to promote and represent to you, my friends and family.
Over the last three years, “Team Erik” has raised over $22,000, which is amazing and humbling to me. If you have donated previously, you know what being part of this team means, as I feel it’s important to keep you updated on the difference we’re making and the impact we’re having on Erik and so many other people’s lives throughout the season. In order to continue this impact, I’ve set an initial goal this year of $6,000 in donations for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. We've hit this goal multiple times so I know it is within reach! I will take care of the training and running miles, but I need your help to reach my fundraising goal. To make a tax-deductible donation, please either 1) make a credit card contribution by clicking the button on the right or 2) write a check made out to “Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation” and mail it to me at 12411 NE 134th PL, Kirkland, WA 98034.
As I did during previous 1/2 marathon events, for each person who donates, I will be wearing your name on my jersey during the race... because I am not only running for Erik and the 1.6 million others with this disease, but I will also be running in honor of and thanks to YOU. I want to sincerely thank you in advance for your donations and support of this cause that means so much to our family.
I will keep you informed of my training and fundraising progress as I run my way closer to Napa and a cure!
With much love and gratitude,
About Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are known together as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They are painful, medically incurable auto-immune triggered illnesses that attack the digestive system. The funds raised through Team Challenge directly benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation in support of its mission to find a cure and improve the quality of life for children and adults affected by these diseases. Please help me help them! To learn more about the Foundation, visit their website at www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org for more detailed information on their mission and the ways they impact the lives of those with IBD.
The Mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is: To cure and prevent Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through education and support.
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