Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Charity of the Month: Crohn's and Colitis Foundation

Charity of the Month is the newest way Team Tizzel is helping to support some very worthy organizationsAs part of this program, we will dedicate a post to a charity that we will sponsor through the month by donating Holly's training run money.

April: In April we sponsored National Brain Tumor Society via Team Victoria and the Race for Hope to help an awesome family that includes a special girl fighting brain tumors with so much courage and hope. Our donation of $100 will be matched by a corporate matching gift (you can donate too through this link) and we've been told our post inspired a donation by someone else!

May's Charity:

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America Team Challenge - Jessica Awotona

Our good friend Jessica (a Team AllEars member) has been running in support of charities for years. She first learned about Colitis with both her sister's and uncle's diagnoses and treatments a few years ago.  Here's her story:

Up until a few years ago I had no idea what Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis were. In 2011, that all changed.

After months of stomach cramps, diarrhea and other digestive problems, my sister Elizabeth, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. She spent many days in the hospital ER trying to figure out what was causing these symptoms. After a few months of trying different treatments and no results, she was hospitalized in August of 2012.

At that point she was so malnourished and in so much pain the doctor wanted to try steroids and pain medicines delivered by a Picc line for a week to see if that would be any help. The x-ray to check on the picc line placement saved my sister's life. It showed that her colon had already perforated in multiple places. An emergency surgery was done to remove her entire colon. She now has an end ileostomy. This ileostomy has saved my sister's life. I can't imagine a life without my sister, she is one of my best friends. I can't imagine her son growing up not knowing his mom. I hate this disease. The doctors are still not sure if her original diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis is still accurate or if she has Crohn's Disease. They are leaning towards Crohn's Disease, which can spread through her entire digestive system, making a reattachment surgery an unlikely choice for her. 

You can read all about her journey through this at her blog: 

In the spring of 2012, IBD doubled down on my family. My Uncle Dave, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and ended up with an emergency Colostomy also. 

I have been a runner for almost 10 years and the Napa Half Marathon is the most important race for me yet. It is my way to support my sister, uncle, and the IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) community. 

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