Gutsy Walk 2018 - Gutsy Walk 2018
Welcome to Jennifer Clark (Ashley's Angels) page
Team Page    

Please join my team or make a donation to the 2018 Gutsy Walk in Victoria to support my beautiful daughter, Ashley, who suffers from Crohn’s disease. 
Ashley was diagnosed almost 6 years ago, the year she left home to attend university. That same year, her dad was killed in a work-related accident. I believe the disease progressed quickly due to all the grieving, sadness, and feeling so homesick and lonely at the time. 
During the past 6 years Ashley has suffered severe abdominal pain, fevers, nausea, bloating, joint pain and weight loss. As new treatments became available for the disease she was always so hopeful. Sadly, Ashley never responded to the medications that worked so well for everyone else. 
Her doctors told her the only option left was to remove the diseased parts of the colon and do a colostomy. Ashley couldn’t accept the idea of wearing a bag and begged the doctors to try other treatments but again nothing was working and she continued to get sicker and sicker. Eventually she became so sick that eating became impossible. Due to the pain associated with food, Ashley developed an unhealthy fear of eating, which gives you a glimpse of the emotional toll that this disease can have. The Crohn’s was attacking her body faster than the treatments were working and options were running out. A year and half after she was told she needed the surgery and 4 months away from completing a Master’s program at UVic in Social Dimensions of Health, she did some research, reached out to others her age that had gone through similar surgeries and realized it was worth doing it, as it was the only way of getting a quality of life back. 
In January of this year she arrived in Vancouver for a routine appointment and was admitted that day due to extreme malnutrition. She had lost 50 lbs and was no longer able to eat anything without suffering extreme pain. Surgery was performed a week later and a week after that she was sent home to enjoy her new life. She was so excited. 
Unfortunately, the excitement didn’t last long, as the Ostomy stopped working the very next day, which was followed by intense abdominal pain. I am writing this 8 weeks after her surgery. We are still in the hospital after dealing with many complications and having many more procedures to get the Ostomy working. The quality of life Ashley hoped would come after surgery did not happen. The disease was all removed but was back within 2 weeks of surgery. The Ostomy now works but is accompanied by abnormal and excruciating pain that is still unexplained. We are hoping it is just from swelling in the bowel that has not settled due to all the procedures Ashley has needed since her major surgery in the first week of February. However, she is now eating and receiving nutrition (TPN) through a PICC line. We are hoping that as her nutritional status improves, so will her healing. 
Next week we will be seeing both her surgeon and GI specialist in Vancouver and are hoping for some more answers. She will continue her treatment in Campbell River Hospital, as this is where her friends and family are and where she feels most comfortable. She has an amazing team of doctors here who not only provide great care but also make Ashley feel supported emotionally, which is so important. We are hopeful that with the amazing care at this hospital, Ashley will eventually get to experience the benefits of having this surgery and able to live the pain-free and symptom-free life she’s been waiting for all along. She will continue to fight until she gets there and we will be there fighting with her every step of the way.
In support of Ashley’s ongoing journey and so many others who have been through similar experiences, please donate or join our team and walk with us on June 3rd in Victoria. We are dedicated to raising money and awareness for these horrible diseases with the hope that one day people will not have to suffer or at the very least, will not have to feel embarrassed or ashamed of their disease. 
Thank you for reading our story and joining us in the fight!