Registration: 11:30 AMWarm Up: TBDStart: 1:00 PMWalk Distance: 3K
ABOUT GUTSY WALKCures 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:
LOCAL HONORARY CHAIR
Chris Jamael, 2019 Gutsy Walk Local Honorary Chair
My name is Chris Jamael. I want to thank Tesa Ramsay and her family for nominating me to be the Honourary Chair for Sydney’s 2019 Gutsy Walk. It truly is an honour.
When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1990, I was 19 years old and I had never heard of the disease. I was given 3 sheets of paper folded into information pamphlets. One had a diagram of the digestive track and was labeled with things I didn’t understand yet, another described a list of symptoms I may experience and the third listed possible treatment options. I was overwhelmed to say the least! But I was also relieved to know that the last 5 years of mysterious symptoms weren’t normal growing pains and I could get help.
Information on IBD was hard to find; there weren’t a lot of books on the topic at the library, and the World Wide Web was less than a year old so I did not have access! I made my way through the next 10 years trying whatever medications my doctor suggested, and there was a lot. I took longer than my friends to get my university degree, but I did it. In fact, I did everything my friends did, just at a different pace. I studied abroad, I traveled, I ran marathons (ok, just ½ marathons, but they added up to full marathons?). But I also spent a lot of time in the hospital. None of the medications I took over those 10 years made me better, but they would keep me from progressing for a while. I had to have surgery in January 2000, and I had dreaded the thought of it since the day I was diagnosed. Recovery was long, but I was a new person once I healed.
I had just done what the doctor ordered for 10 years, I hadn’t even thought about what I could do to help myself. This new me was free of medication, and I researched everything I could to learn if I could live a lifestyle that reduced my risk of flare-ups, and extend my remission. There was so much more information! I read everything I could find and ultimately decided to keep a daily journal … of everything! My food, drink, exercise, sleep, and how I felt. After months, I was able see a pattern and realized my body’s balance. Everyone’s balance is different, and by respecting my balance I stayed in remission for 10 full years. I got married and had 2 children.
While balance was a game changer for me, it isn’t a cure. Another flare-up came and along with it, 4 years of being housebound, changing medications, and in June 2014, a second surgery. The advancements in treatment actually amazed me. Funds raised for Crohn’s and Colitis research had completely changed the way I was treated and my available options. Even the way I was to recover from surgery was different.
This year’s Gutsy Walk in Sydney is Sunday, June 2, 2019. The money raised helps in so many ways and makes a profound impact in the daily lives of all people affected by IBD. My family and friends feel the impact just as much as I do. Thanks to everyone for their support!