Sunday, August 22, 2010

Throwing My Hat in the Ring

I'm in. Are you?

I've joined Team Challenge Wisconsin to help raise money and awareness for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Huh? What does that mean? Well basically it means that for the next three months I'll be working my tail off to fundraise for CCFA all while training for the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon.

Ok, maybe some of you are thinking, "Only a half marathon this time? What gives?" Hey! I counter with this: There is nothing "half way" about running 13.1 miles. But maybe you're wondering why a half marathon is such a big deal to someone who is currently training for her third full marathon. Well, lemme tell you something. The people who come out and train for this event through Team Challenge are not only a big deal, they are the Real Deal. Starting next week, I'l be spending my Sunday mornings with not only seasoned runners but with people who are running or walking their first race ever. I'll be training with people who are dealing firsthand with the effects of Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. When I watched the members of Team Challenge at the finish line of the Wine Country Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon this past July, I knew that this was an organization that I wanted to be a part of. From the top finisher to the very last walker it was an inspiring thing to watch and I am proud to be raising money for such a great cause. And pardon my French, these really are crappy diseases.

The facts: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Crohn's disease is a chronic (ongoing) disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Although it can involve any area of the GI tract, it most commonly affects the small intestine and/or colon. Ulcerative colitis on the other hand, affects only the colon. There are no areas of normal intestine between the areas of diseased intestine. In contrast, such so-called "skip" areas may occur in Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the innermost lining of the colon, whereas Crohn's disease can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall.

It is estimated that as many as 1.4 million Americans have IBD; however, many more suffer in silence due to potential embarrassment and alienation. Crohn's disease may occur in people of all ages, but it is primarily a disease of adolescents and young adults, affecting mainly those between 15 and 35. However, Crohn's disease can also occur in people who are 70 or older and in young children as well. In fact, 10 percent of those affected -- or an estimated 100,000 -- are youngsters under the age of 18. On average, people are diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in their mid-30s, although the disease can occur at any age.

You knew this part was coming:

Can you help?

I have set a fundraising goal of $2500. This will not only allow me to travel to Las Vegas with the team, but more than 80% of your donation goes directly to research, education, and support services to help CCFA find a cure.

Please click below to check out my fundraising page:

You've probably heard stuff like this before but every dollar really does count no donation is too small. If I can get 100 people to donate just $13.10 I will be more than half way to my goal! My Team Challenge running buddies and I will be planning some fun events between now and December so stay tuned for other ways you can help. (Save the Date: Super Awesome Rummage happening on Saturday, 9/25. Email me for location details or to donate items!)

Thank you so much in advance for all your support for me and my team as we plan to "Leave the Craps in Vegas!"

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