Welcome to my Team Challenge Fundraising page!
If this disease is going to continue to take my blood, sweat, and tears, it's going to do it on my terms! I have decided to once again join the ranks of my fellow IBD warriors to train and fundraise for a disease that plagues my every thought.
My story isn't all that different from others like me, but I have opted to share my experiences in an attempt to raise awareness and fight back!
I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 17 years old. At a time when I should have been spreading my wings and figuring out who I was, I was being told I had an incurable auto-immune disease. I can't even begin to describe what my childhood was like. I spent over five years undiagnosed with no rhyme or reason to what was happening to me. I suffered from unimaginable pain, insomnia, diarrhea, blood, vomiting, weight gain, weight loss, fatigue, and a host of other mental and emotional problems.
At age 20 I was hospitalized with an abdominal abscess. I weighed 80 pounds and was put on a pic line feeding tube for the entirety of my stay. A few months later I underwent my first surgery - a partial bowel resection; this resulted in a temporary ostomy. A second (and subsequent third) surgery was performed to remove the bag and re-attach.
I was in and out of remission throughout the next four years, but after getting pregnant with my second kid, things changed. Basically, I was given a choice. Start Remicade (an IV infusion biological) and prepare for a rough pregnancy, or terminate. I picked my kid. He is arguably one of the best things in my life.
That brings us to now. After 3.5 years on Remicade, the doctors have decided to take my health care in a new direction. This is a decision I have feared from the beginning and am not completely ready for.
Joining Team Challenge three years ago was the breath of fresh air I had been looking for. They helped strip away my feelings of inadequacy, shame, and guilt. They stood beside me, cried with me, and encouraged me to keep going on the days and nights when I didn't know how. I owe a lot to them and am so excited to join them again and continue to stand up for those who can't.
Will you help me?
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