* The cute team onsie our god daughter wore to support me.*
This past Sunday, the hubby, me and some of our dearest friends joined team Poo Crew to participate in the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's Take Steps walk in Orange County. It was a beautiful afternoon on the UC Irvine campus and the spirit of standing together to beat Inflammatory Bowel Diseases couldn't have been stronger.
* My awesome walk-day support team, from L: K, J, Little K, C, Me and The Hubs. (side note, when did I shrink?)*
I was a little nervous before we left, I'm all about participating in charities that support other people's causes, but it was a little bit overwhelming that the people above were going to be there to support me. But then the hubby reminded me that everyone there was showing their support to make sure others don't have to suffer like I and so many others have and I was again empowered. Its my goal to make sure I do whatever I can to educate, raise money and kick the crap out of IBD. And this walk was a symbol of all of that.
* A few of the members from my support group.*
When we got to the walk, I got in my wheelchair and little K in her BOB stroller, and off we went to meet up with the other members of the Poo Crew (the people from my Crohn's and Colitis support group.) It was really nice to see all of them away from the meeting and all jazzed to be doing something positive with all the crap we have to deal with. We perused the booths and listened to a bit of music before the official festivities began.
Before the walk began, all the teams gathered by the stage -- and here's where it started getting really emotional for me. (Now come on those that know me, know I was tearing up the whole freaking time, but hey what's wrong with that?!) They shared stories of hope and success, there were a couple of teams there supporting young kids and pre-teens who suffer from these horrible diseases. It broke my heart, I mean it's hard enough for an adult to wrap their mind around all the physical and emotional junk that comes with IBD, but a kid really, how is that fair? But they were just regular kids trying to do the best they could to do what they wanted to do, they are the real heros of these diseases.
After all the heart warming, pump you up, "gut" wrenching stories the walk began and my awesome hubby pushed me along the two-mile course. It was really pretty, we even passed a wedding along the way (bet they didn't know a bunch of poopy people would be walking by;) I even got the chance to answer a few questions for some ladies who didn't really understand IBD, what the differences are between Crohn's and Colitis, how do you get it, how do you treat it. It took me quite a few times to tell them you don't get these auto-immune disease from eating anything bad and you don't "catch" them, that it's not within anybody's control. But they were so sweet and truly wanted to learn and I felt so good that I had paid it forward that day.
It was an awesome event. Thanks to all of the people who love and support me in so many different ways every single day, I raised almost $1400. When people say good job to me, I say I didn't do anything, I'm just one very lucky girl and it's all of you that keep me going. (The Poo Crew raised just over $3000, surpassing our goal of $2500!) Also a shout out to my Poo Crew peeps, each of you help me in this struggle and knowing that we are not alone is sometimes all I need to make it through the day.
Thank you to K, J, Little K, C and my hubby for walking beside me. It meant so much to me that you were there and as always I felt so loved. And of course thanks to my hubs for pushing me in the wheelchair, you never complain and you are just always there with me, I love you. But don't worry, next year I WILL be walking, standing tall and feeling well so I can make my voice even louder and help fight this battle with all that I have. It will not define who I am and I will show it who's boss -- I may be tiny but I sure am mighty!
* Me and our cute god daughter, Little K. Isn't she cute?*
Also, if you'd still like to donate, you can click on the link in the sidebar to the right. They will accept donations through the end of July! Every little bit helps get rid of the stink of Crohn's and Colitis.