Gutsy Walk 2019 - Gutsy Walk 2019
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Thanks for stopping by!

We have been so grateful for the annual support of family, friends and the fantastic people we get to work with over the past few years for our Got Guts? team walking to raise awareness and support for Crohn’s and Colitis. Many of our team members have been participating for years back when it was the Heel n' Wheel-a-Thon and we are excited that this will be our 5th year participating as the Got Guts? team!

It was only 16 days after the 2016 walk and a day before my 33rd birthday that I would end up requiring surgery to have my large bowel removed and an ileostomy created due to a severe flare up from my Ulcerative Colitis. It was a challenging time as the flare that began with symptoms in the middle of April became aggressive including running to the washroom over 20 times a day and resulted in being admitted to St. Paul's hospital for over two weeks while last medical attempts were made to try to prevent the need for surgery. A month after the 2017 Gutsy walk I had surgery to become a permanent ileostomate as what was left was continuing to flare. I'm very thankful to be feeling much better since having this last surgery and getting back to what I love to do in both work and life!

I have been and am incredibly fortunate to have an amazing team to support me - from my husband who is right by my side through both the ups and downs, to incredible family members and friends that have stepped in to help us with everything from getting groceries to supporting and praying for us. We have thoughtful and generous clients who have supported our Gutsy Walk team and been ever so gracious and patient as things slowed down or came to a grinding halt at times. We have also had an outstanding team of nurses and doctors that have provided their knowledge, expertise and support as we navigated this disease. The more we learn it appears what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another and that is why we need more research to understand the triggers of a flare, how different people respond to different treatments and ultimately more research to find a cure.

I’m also fortunate to have an incredible mentor in my mum who has battled a severe case of Crohn’s for over 30 years which has included multiple surgeries and flare-ups resulting in TPN and fistulas. Her drive and determination to minimize its impacts and continue living life to the fullest has truly been an inspiration to me and it has made my journey much easier having someone who has not only modeled making the most of living with Crohn’s but also who I can turn to for advice. At the same time it is difficult to see someone you love struggle with the challenges of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).

I hope my story can bring a little bit of awareness of the challenges Crohn’s and Colitis sufferers can face and shed some light on why we are personally excited to be a part of the Gutsy Walk to raise awareness and hopes for further treatments and potential cure(s).

We are so grateful for your support and encouragement. We would love to have you join our Got Guts? Team and walk with us on Sunday June 2nd, 2019 at Mill Lake. If you can’t make it out but would like to support us by making a donation or increasing awareness by spreading the word we would really appreciate it!

Thank-you ever so much!

Nikki Klassen


For more information on Crohn's and Colitis as well as the Gutsy Walk please read below:

Every hour of every day, one Canadian is newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

As it takes guts to find a cure, I will be getting gutsy by participating in Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s Gutsy Walk on Sunday, June 2.

Today, we are asking you to get gutsy with us by making a donation.

How will your generous gift make an impact? Your donation will be invested in world-class research, empowering patient programs, advocacy efforts and elevating awareness. 

Together, we can move towards a future free of Crohn’s and colitis.

Thank you for showing you have the guts it takes to find cures.