Gutsy Walk 2019 - Gutsy Walk 2019

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Date:
Registration: 8:30 AM
Warm Up: 10:00 AM
Start: 10:15 AM
Walk Distance: 3K, 5K and 8K
No dogs permitted

ABOUT GUTSY WALK

Cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are steps away.

Join us on Sunday, June 2 at our 24th annual Gutsy Walk to walk, jog or run with us towards a future free from Crohn’s and colitis.

Registered Gutsy Walk participants will have the opportunity to:

• Receive a Gutsy Walk T-shirt by raising $100 or more
• Join our Top Pledge Earner Club by raising $1,000 or more

Have questions? For more information, please contact us:
gutsywalk_AB_North@crohnsandcolitis.ca
1-888-884-2232

LOCAL HONORARY CHAIR

Taylor, 2018 Gutsy Walk Local Honorary Chair




Taylor’s Story

Hi my name is Taylor Stephens and I would like to share my personal story about Crohn’s disease and how it has affected my life. Although this reality is fairly new for me, I know I am not alone in this and I am so overwhelmed by the support and advice I have received by so many of you in the Crohn’s and Colitis community.

In March of 2017, at the age of 11 years old, I went to the ER at the University Hospital after feeling really tired, nauseous and weak. I weighed only 56 pounds and my parents and I had noticed that I wasn’t growing at the same rate that my classmates and friends were. After being admitted, it was discovered that I was severely dehydrated, my iron levels were extremely low and I wasn’t getting the nutrients that I needed on a daily basis. Shortly thereafter, I was soon diagnosed with the words that changed my life going forward; Crohn’s disease. I soon realized that my new reality consisted of endless needles, daily pills and finding 101 creative ways to enjoy a bottle of Ensure! My dad said he should have bought stock in the company. We even had friends bring over a whole buffet of Ensure one night! You can tell that I am very blessed to have so many supportive people in my life.

When I was diagnosed, it was a really tough time for me because I was so scared about what this meant for my future. My family was moving to a new house, I was getting ready to start junior high and this seemed like such a grown up thing to be dealing with at such a young age. Of course I had the thoughts of “Why me?” and “What could I have done differently to avoid this?” However, aside from my family’s support, the one thing that got me through those first few days and weeks was the amazing staff at the Stollery Hospital. The nurses were so kind and understanding and they explained everything in a way that helped me understand what was going on. I loved the pet therapy program that they had, as well as, going to the “beach” which was a room in the hospital filled with toys, crafts, magic shows, and positive volunteers to make you feel normal and take your mind off of things. It truly is an amazing place and we are so lucky to live next to this world class facility.

I have heard so many stories about people who have lived with Cohn’s and colitis for many years. They explained how it took them a long time to be diagnosed and to find effective treatment that truly worked for them. I feel that these people who came before me are such amazing “pioneers” not only because they have endured countless procedures and tests to help researchers narrow down how to effectively treat these diseases, but they have also been the voices for so many in helping to raise money to ease the suffering and raise the quality of life for us all. I know for me personally, who is relatively new to the world of Crohn’s, I feel as though I am in the care of awesome professionals and receiving the best treatment possible. I want to thank each and every one of you for your effort and donations to help make my life and the lives of so many, comfortable and optimistic.

Last June I had the pleasure of experiencing the “Gutsy Walk” for the first time, and it was such an eye opener for me. For the first time, I was able to talk with so many people who knew exactly how I felt and who gave me words of encouragement and advice. It is so comforting to know that I am not alone in this journey and it has taught me to enjoy life to the fullest and embrace each moment. To see so many positive people living with Crohn’s and colitis has inspired me to be that voice for others in the future. I want to “pay it forward” to those kids who come after me.

I have so many dreams for the future. I want to be a professional singer, go to University, travel the world, and meet so many amazing people. Now I understand that this is still possible and that my Crohn’s is not going to define who I am. Yes it is my own cross to bear, but we all have to deal with issues in our lives that we didn’t plan on facing. It’s how we take those obstacles and turn them into strengths, that shows who we truly are.
I want to thank you all for listening to my story!