Saturday, February 20, 2010

Countdown to 13.1


I know, I know…so many people have been posting things on their blogs about running for a cause, asking for money, etc. I can’t help it, I have to talk about my experience and of course, raise money for the cause.

I had my first meeting this morning with the crew that I will be training with for the Team Challenge Crohn’s and Colitis 1/2 Marathon in Boston. The meeting was inspirational and it got me super pumped for the race.

I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and saw my uncle and his wife were the designated mentors. My uncle (he’s actually my uncle through marriage) has Crohn’s disease and has a very inspirational story as well. He has come a long way and I love the fact that he is so willing to share his journey so openly.

So here’s the deal. For those of you who don’t already know, Dennis has Ulcerative Colitis. He was diagnosed in 2003 at the age of 25. In the summer of 2007, he got severely sick with a bout that never subsided. For nearly 2 years, the only thing that controlled his UC was steroids. He was unable to leave the house and was forced to work from home until he got laid off in November of 2008. At that point, he had tried every drug possible to help save his colon, but nothing worked. It was then that he finally came to the conclusion that his colon needed to be removed.

After the surgery he suffered from an abscess that nearly killed him. He spent all of December, 2008 in the hospital fighting for his life. It was a very scary experience; something I would never wish on anyone.

After returning home from the hospital, he was forced to use TPN (total parenteral nutrition) for 2 full months until his body healed enough for the “reversal” part of his surgery. It was heartbreaking to see him hooked up to tubes while I was able to eat normal foods. Thank God it was only for a short time.

In February of 2009, he had his reversal surgery. After 2 years of pain, suffering, and nearly death, he is as close to being as normal as he’s ever been. I’m very grateful to have him here, and needless to say, his experience has changed both of our lives.

This is the VERY SHORT version of his UC story. Honestly it’s not mine to tell. All I was able to do was support him and help take care of him, and now I’m doing whatever I can to continue to fight for a cure.

This is basically how my blogging days started. I spent hours researching his disease and re-teaching myself about nutrition. I started to realize that food played a major role in how we look and feel, and how making small changes could make major differences in our lives overall. I really hoped that changing our diets could help cure his disease, and unfortunately it didn’t; but it has still changed the way I look at and approach food on a daily basis.

In June of ‘08 I raised $700 and walked the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis of New England. This time, I will be working to raise $3000 for my 1/2 marathon.

I’m not writing this to pressure anyone to donate money. Believe me—many of the blogs I love to read have been raising money and I haven’t been able to donate. I was laid off most of last year so every penny I had was accounted for. I’m writing this post to share my experience and let you all know why this 13.1 race is so important to me. If you want to donate, awesome. I will be posting a link to my fundraising page shortly and it will be available for anyone at any time to donate what they can whenever. But don’t be afraid to comment and read even if you can’t afford it. I won’t hate. I understand.

So basically I will be spending a lot of time training with this amazing group of people for an awesome cause, and I get to go back to Boston to run the race! I’m excited to be a part of this and I hope you’ll be just as excited to join me through the blog. I’m sure there will be days where I’ll get  frustrated and overwhelmed but I know it will be worth it.

Fore more information, visit the Crohn’s and Colitis website.


  1. Oh my - I had no idea what Crohn's disease was - let alone how debilitating it is :( I think that it is wonderful that you are supporting this cause :)

  2. Hi Nicole. The link to your fund raising site at the top of the page doesn't work because you have 'http' written twice.