Registration: 9:30 AMWarm Up: TBDStart: 10:00 AMWalk Distance: 5K
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:
800-387-1479 ext. 274
LOCAL HONORARY CHAIR
Ruby Konkol, 2019 Gutsy Walk Local Honorary Chair
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
What an unexpected gift this experience has been for me. It is now my honour to be Collingwood’s Honorary Chair for the 2019 Gutsy Walk.
My name is Ruby Konkol. I have battled Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and more specifically severe ulcerative colitis since 2000. Constant and severe abdominal pain, dehydration, extreme weight loss (80 pounds within a year) and bowel incontinence had become an unwelcome part of my life. Colitis eventually led to excessive blood loss rendering me so weak and ill that my day to day existence was defined by being alone on the couch or in bed. Living with the pain associated with my colon deteriorating and the accompanying dehydration and malnutrition defined my world. I felt isolated and hopeless and couldn’t imagine life without the pain and suffering I had grown accustomed to. At this point, all activities proved impossible and had to be given up. I avoided contact with others as I questioned my own will to survive.
In 2011 I underwent surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital to have my colon removed. Initially I was given an ostomy but eventually a J pouch was surgically created reattaching my small intestine.
My journey with IBD although extremely challenging has also proven to be a period of incredible personal growth. On many occasions I came close to death. I wasn’t expected to survive but somehow, I found the internal strength to continue.
Shortly following my fourth colitis related operation, I trained for and successfully completed the Canadian Ski Instructor certification program. I also joined Collingwood Toastmasters eventually becoming its President.
Surviving this debilitating disease and learning to thrive despite apparently insurmountable setbacks uncovered the true depth of my own strength. The experience demonstrated what we can achieve with the right attitude and awareness. It is because of my struggles with IBD that my life today is better than ever!
With immense gratitude it is now time for me to give back to a cause and a community that has given so much to me. As this year’s Honorary Chair of the Collingwood Gutsy Walk, I am excited to have the opportunity of spreading greater IBD awareness and to raise funds to help a cause that affects so many. Let’s support one another and along the way work to improve the lives of children and adults suffering with this debilitating disease. Only together, can we make it STOP!