Let’s Take Steps

Tens of thousands of South Texas residents are suffering silently with deadly inflammatory bowel diseases, and thousands more have been diagnosed with Crohn’s and Colitis this year. And there’s only one event in our area fighting these diseases.

By: Alexis Mays

There are nearly 70,000 patients in South Texas battling a disease that many have never heard of. In Corpus Christi, statistics tell us that 1,500 residents are suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Colitis affects the large intestine (colon), and Crohn’s disease can be found in any part of the GI tract. Even though 70,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States every year, many still don’t know they have an IBD. Crohn’s and Colitis affects men, women and children, it is not medically curable, it affects your daily life and it can be fatal.

The fight against inflammatory bowel diseases is led by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). Since 1967, they have remained at the forefront of research for a cure. CCFA-supported research studies have found more than 160 genes associates with IBD, important information that will help form the basis for discovering new drugs and diagnostics. They have also helped determine the gut microbiome that links genetics with the progression of IBD. The CCFA also provides a series of educational programs, resources, support services and advocacy initiatives. And you can get involved with several local events on the calendar for this year.

On Thursday, Aug. 27, the CCFA will have a free kick-off event at Kid’s Ultimate Party Zone at 1216 Waldron Road. Check-in is at 6:30 p.m., and the presentation starts at 7 p.m. Kids will have a blast with the indoor bouncy houses, and families will receive support and education. To attend, just RSVP to rkingham@ccfa.org.

This event is the opening act for the 2015 Corpus Christi Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis Walk. On Oct. 24, starting at 9 a.m., Cole Park will be covered in orange to raise awareness and funds to further the foundation’s mission. It’s much more than a walk! There will be food, music, festivities, kid’s activities, local entertainment and fellowship with your neighbors who understand the impact of these diseases. And then, at 10 a.m., we will all Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis. Take Steps is the foundation’s largest fundraising event, and it is fun for the whole family.

There are many ways to get involved right now. Sign up for the walk, form a team, register to be a vendor in the Take Steps festivities, collect donations or make one yourself. Eighty-two cents of every dollar raised at this event goes straight toward breakthrough research, public and professional education and patient support services. Show your support by making a $25 donation, and you will receive a free window decal!

Make plans to be at Cole Park on Oct. 24 because it’s the only time in our community for patients and their families impacted by IBD to know we’re not alone. In addition to the festivities and camaraderie, we will also have our honored heroes speak. Every year, we showcase brave, local patients to share their story of diagnosis, how they combat the condition and words of hope and inspiration. Together, let’s Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis on Oct. 24 at Cole Park.

For more information, contact Robin Kingham, assistant national manager for Take Steps and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America,
at 504-408-2119 or rkingham@ccfa.org, or visit www.cctakesteps.org/corpuschristi.


Photo Courtesy of Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

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