Hello Friends and Family!
Wow this year has flown by. I honestly don’t know where 2018 went, but 2019 is here, which means I’m back asking for your help in raising money for The 2019 Gutsy Walk in support of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
I always like to look back on what my message was to you last year, and I’m very happy to say this year was just as eventful, but for much more positive reasons!
First off, I’ll start with my health. Overall, I’m feeling great (knock wood). Changing my Remicade dose has stopped my body from creating antibodies to the drug, which is really great news. Basically, my body was destroying all the Remicade drug I put into it, so it wasn't doing anything to control my UC. Thanks my amazing doctor at Mount Sinai, I'm back on track. I also recently had a colonoscopy which showed zero signs of disease, and also evidence of “mucosal healing”. For those of you not immersed in the world of IBD, it basically means that my colon is starting to heal from all the trauma it’s sustained. Researchers and doctors are really starting to use this as a tool to measure if someone is truly in remission. It was literally the best news I could have received. In terms of the Lupus, I have been relatively symptom free since last year. I’m still monitored fairly closely since that can change at any time, but for now I’ve had no lasting issues.
I’m so happy my health has been working with me this year, because I’ve had so much else going on. We FINALLY moved into our house and while it’s still not 100% done, it’s looking pretty good, and we love it. Matt also finally popped the question and we’ve been planning our wedding which is happening in September of this year. We’re having it at the house so a ton of work has been going into that. And last, but not least Matt landed his dream job and is now a Firefighter for the City of Hamilton. With that job comes amazing benefits, which means I no longer have to rely on Trilium (A government subsidy program) to cover the $40,000 worth of drugs that I’m currently on.
Now that I’ve updated you on where I’m at, I want to circle back to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (CCC). I am still Windsor Chapter President, and this past year while we’ve lost some veteran and dedicated members of the chapter to new jobs and new opportunities, but we’ve also gained some amazing new volunteers who have really hit the ground running. The group continues to donate huge amounts of their time to develop programs and events right here in Windsor to benefit the community.
As you all know this charity is something that is very important to me as it funds extremely important research right here in Canada. These researchers could not pursue their goal of finding a cure without funds, and CCC provides these grants. I’m also continuously reminded that while having ulcerative colitis sucks, I am forever thankful I got to go through childhood unaffected. Seeing the bravery that so many children go through is truly an inspiration. CCC provides children affected by IBD with an amazing opportunity called Camp Got 2 Go. They are able to go to camp like other “healthy” kids without fear of stigma or being seen as “different”. This program is one of my favourite that CCC offers. Money raised through The Gutsy Walk directly supports this program and it could not operate without your support.
This year, I had such a great start to my fundraising efforts courtesy of Matt’s dad Sean who organized a charity hockey tournament. Thank you to all the players from Toronto and Belle River who played and donated – I so appreciate it. Because of this, I’m setting my goal at the highest it’s ever been - $4,000.00. I’m hoping to make it, and can only do so with your support. In advance, thank you so much to those of you who have been supporting me year after year, it really means more than you know. No matter the amount, it all makes a difference.
Thanks again and I look forward to updating you on my progress!