My name is Jenna Agin and I am 14 years old. My dad was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of thirteen and 9 years ago, on November 25th, 2008, my dad passed away from complications of the disease. I am writing to you in hopes that you will help me raise money this year, in honor of my dad and all of the families who have suffered because of Crohn's and Colitis.
My dad, Steven Agin, suffered from Crohn's disease for as long as I can remember. He was tired a lot as a result of the disease. My dad had 5 difficult surgeries. They removed almost 6 feet of his intestine when he had his first surgery at the age of 13. After his last surgery he no longer had a belly button. In addition to all the surgeries, my dad also took steroids that made his cheeks look big but his body still remained very skinny. Nurses were constantly in my house taking care of him. As his daughter I would get worried about him. He would look at me and say "Jen-Jen it's ok,” as he was always a trooper. When he was really sick in the hospital, and often even at home as well, the doctors attached tubes to him to feed him liquid food. At home he usually called my mom from his bed because he was very weak and he couldn’t get up. I cant even imagine how different my life and my dad's life would have been if he hadn't had Crohn's disease.
Although my dad was sick, he always found time for me. Even the day before he checked into the hospital for the last time, he took me to the Halloween parade. He was in the hospital for 23 days. My mom wasn't sure how much longer he had to live, and as a six year old I couldn't understand what was happening. During the last six months of his life, he had many complications. The surgeries left him with very little intestine. This caused him to get dehydrated and the dehydration caused him to get kidney stones. The kidney stones required a special procedure to get rid of them. Unfortunately, my dad's body was too weak and it developed an infection from the procedure that his body couldn't fight off. When my dad died on November 25 2008, I was 6 and my dad was 50.
I started raising money for the CCFA right after he died. I have raised almost $100,000 and this year I have set my fundraising goal to $60,000. I'm walking to raise awareness and money to help find a cure for Crohn's & Colitis because I don't want anyone else to have to suffer from this disease.
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 2 mile walk 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.
The more money we raise, the closer we will be to making life more manageable for patients who live with these diseases every day. Please donate and join my walk team!