Team Challenge Season 2, let’s go!

Team Challenge Season 2, let’s go!

I am thrilled to announce that, for the second time, I will be running a half marathon with Team Challenge for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

The Race: Chicago 13.1 Half Marathon on June 7th

The Fundraising Goal: $2,900

Funds raised as of today: $210

Miles run today: 0 (Many miles to come soon! And in my defense, see weather recap below.)

This morning, it’s 13 degrees with a windchill of 0. I’m at a coffee shop waiting to meet a wedding photographer. Yesterday, it was 8 degrees with a wind chill of -1. I was writing the first draft of this post on the couch with my dog Geordi who was curled up under the blankets and my cat, Aayla, was seriously considering joining him (which would be a first). With weather like this, running would just end in disappointment and an asthma attack. In weather like this, it’s tough to imagine running 13.1 miles in shorts on a hopefully sunny June day in Chicago.

It’s also tough to imagine a cure for Crohn’s disease. But I’m spending a lot of time imagining both. Imagining warmth and sunshine and a good long run. Imagining a day when Mom, Ryan, and I don’t have Remicade infusions. Imagining a day when a stomachache is just a stomachache that shows up unexpectedly and goes away quickly. Imagining a day when I don’t have the numbers for a GI doctor and Infusion Center in my cell phone. Imagining a long sunny walk along Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Imagining a week when I’m not sending someone good luck for their Remicade infusion.


But every day, we’re a little bit closer to that sunny June day and a little bit closer to that cure. In the past year, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis have come much closer to being household words like diabetes or breast cancer. I’ve seen a few commercials about Crohn’s and colitis, including a CBS Cares spot featuring Bob Schieffer that left me slack-jawed with surprise when it popped up during a commercial break. As a culture, we’re talking about these diseases more and more. It’s great. It’s hopeful. And it’s a step towards better treatments, better patient support, and that cure we’re all waiting for.

I’m waiting for it now more than ever. In November, we found out that, in addition to my brother and I, my Mom also has Crohn’s disease. When I found out, I closed my office door and cried under my desk for half an hour. Because this disease sucks. Luckily, Mom is feeling so much better because she’s on Remicade now, like my brother and me.

But as so often happens, bad things went hand in hand with really good things. Kevin and I got engaged in Italy! So it’s just me fundraising this year because we’re planning the wedding for September and we’re a little preoccupied.

Preoccupied…like our dog trying to steal a wooden spoon covered in cookie dough.
Some people have told me that I’m crazy to be planning a wedding and doing Team Challenge at the same time. I say, it can be done! (Some people have told me that having less than a year to plan a wedding is insane, to them I say, “oh, puh-leez”). But I’ve got to do them both. And together. Part of the reason is because of what happened when I went wedding dress shopping with my Mom. I got into this dress I really liked, but it had this huge slip. And all I could think about was whether or not I could get in and out of it quickly and by myself (no and maybe, respectively). Why was this a concern? Because “OMG WHAT IF I HAVE A FLARE THE WEEKEND OF THE WEDDING.”
Sometimes, my brain just goes nuts: What if I have a flare the weekend of the wedding? What if I’ve just got this explosive, god-awful diarrhea? Or I’m throwing up after just Gatorade and toast? Or…or…or…* it goes on every now and again but I’ll spare you the rest. And I know I’m not the only bride-to-be with this concern. I know I’m not the only person with IBD worried about being in public, in front of a crowd and feeling sick. But we’ve got to do it. We’ve got to live all of our lives. And we’ve got to work for cures.
So what happened with the dress? I bought it. And if I’m having a flare, I’ll wear this cute little green dress that I love because if it’s so bad I’m having constant bathroom emergencies, I’ll just be grateful to be at the wedding.

Besides, I’m going to be healthy. So it doesn’t matter. We’re all going to be healthy. Because we’re going to find that cure.

I hope you’ll check out my fundraising page and help us get there:

Thanks for reading my blog and for all your support!!!!



*Not to mention the following wedding/Crohn’s lines of worry:

What if my brother is having a flare? What if my Mom is having a flare? Can the caterer make things that we can all eat? What if dietary restrictions change, is the caterer willing to be flexible? What do we eat, really? What are our restrictions? Is it going to be a problem that the nearest bathroom is upstairs? Welcome to my brain.


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