Brent Hinson is Taking Steps to Fight Crohn’s Disease

March 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Fundraising event | Leave a comment
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This is a message from a good friend, Brent Hinson. He is the Advocacy Chairperson for the Tennessee Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. This year he will be participating in the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis event to raise money for research and development of new treatments and hopefully soon a cure, for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Best of luck from myself and the rest of your friends out here in the Big Apple!Brent Hinson of the Tennessee chapter of the CCFA

In just under 2 months, I’ll travel to Nashville to take part in this year’s “Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis” fund raising event.

For the past two years, I’ve raised funds and money close to home in West Tennessee. This year, as Advocacy Chair for the Tennessee Chapter of the CCFA, I thought I would volunteer, meet and walk with IBD patients from all over the state.

In trying to come up with creative ways to raise money for my team, The Rolling Crohn’s, I thought I would keep it simple.

I remember one of my high school teachers, Mr. Bearden, reading the “By The Numbers” section out of Harper’s Bazaar magazine to us from time to time. I thought I would take that approach in trying to relate what this disease and subsequent cure means to me.

* 48 staples in my abdomen after my colon resection. (September 2000)
* 10 years since my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. (February 2000)
* 6 Remicade treatments I receive each year.
* 5 hospital stays since being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
* 4 colonoscopies I have had in my life.
* 3 Crohn’s-related kidney stones I’ve passed or had broken up.
* 2 tubes inserted down my nose into my stomach.
* 1/4 of my colon removed during my resection.
* 1 son who I never want to see go through all the terrible things I’ve been through since being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

Help me raise awareness and funds for Crohn’s and colitis so that others, especially young ones, don’t have to experience the pain and frustration of these terrible conditions.

Please help me raise money for my “Take Steps” team by donating to The Rolling Crohn’s here.

We’d love to have you join us Saturday, May 22nd in Nashville, Tennessee.

Take Steps and Be Heard!

Please re post and help raise as much awareness we can!

Thank you so much.

Cheers,

Brent

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Viva Las Vegas

December 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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What a great experience I had in Vegas. Wasn’t quite sure how the race would turn out since I didn’t sleep very well for most of the week and had all but stopped training for the two weeks prior due to some pesky foot injuries. Those foot injuries….

At any rate I did pretty well; finished the half-marathon strong in about 2:08. Officially the time was 2:19 but I’m deducting 11 minutes for the time spent in line for the restroom at the 8-mile mark. I tried to make it without stopping but it just wasn’t meant to be, though I did run in place and practice high-knees while waiting.

2:08 and I’m sticking to it!

The race was really fun, the atmosphere was awesome, though the weather conditions could have been better. I started out of coral 16, which meant 55 minutes of waiting before we actually took off running. 120 minutes altogether, in the freezing desert cold (36 degrees), wearing shorts and 2 t-shirts… waiting as my muscles and eyeballs froze, hoping this year would be the one they found a cure thanks entirely to the frigid conditions I had to wait around in.

We were slowly ushered to the starting line just as the sun was peaking out of the desert terrain between the mountains and the airport. We looked at each other with cold and angst in our eyes (the waffles-to-come, with extra blueberries and whipped cream keeping my thoughts warm) and suddenly with a loud burst and crackle in the morning sky, fireworks exploded as a Blues Brothers Tribute band started playing high above us on a raised platform. “You Make me Want to Shout!” they sang, and we threw our hands up and shouted…. and threw our hands up and shouted… and threw our hands up…. ok I’ll stop. It was the perfect way to get everyone jazzed up and ready to run.

All was great, starting a run with a massive dance party is an indescribable experience. A former coworker of mine used to say on a boring Monday that he would give anything for the streets to suddenly erupt into dancing… well Parsa, they did. And it was awesome.

Not too many other highlights to recall after that, it was really a lot of killing time after that point. I was stoked to find out there was a Santa 5K the previous morning with free Santa costumes provided, and a little bummed that I missed it. It also would have been awesome if I picked up an Elvis costume and joined the Tour de Graceland runners.

The finish line was my favorite, not least of which because it was finally over. There is something to be said though about the feeling you get from an artificial sugar goo high at the 12-mile mark when you’re just about to collapse into a pile of concrete with two lead pipes that used to be legs. Suddenly I found myself sprinting, for almost a mile straight into the finish line while the crowd cheered me on. It was amazing.

At the finish line was my mom and two of my brothers, Michael and Brian. I was so happy to see them there in support of everything I had worked so hard for over the last 3 months. Thank you guys, it meant the world to me.

So to keep to my promise to Jason Leitman, and all the great people at CDSN and the CCFA, and all those others I met along the way, I will continue to maintain the blog to some extent so as to never abandon the most important part of all of this. The cause. It makes me feel good to know that I raised $3700.00 to help children suffering from IBD. My team, the New York Chapter of Team Challenge raised the most money of any team in the country, over $200,000!

My website will stay up, with stories and anecdotes about life with Crohn’s Disease and IBD, and I will continue to do my best to maintain this blog as a source of information and a connection point for those with IBD and those who can help them get through the pain and anxiety of having it.

I have a few ideas in mind that will hopefully pan out, but it’s still early and I don’t want to spill them just yet for fear of looking like a lazy slacker if they don’t actually come to fruition. I work full-time, can’t always be running marathons! I know you’ll understand.

Merry Christmas to you all, and thank you so much for your support!

On the Way to Las Vegas Half-Marathon for Crohn’s Disease

December 3, 2009 at 10:23 am | Posted in training | 2 Comments
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So here I am, in the final throes of marathon training. To be honest, I’m feeling very nervous and anxious. It’s tapering week (the period just before the marathon when you stop training and let your body heal and prepare) and I can’t help but feel the irrational fear that I’m going to somehow slip out of shape from inactivity and be unable to complete the marathon on Sunday.

Like I said, it’s irrational. I expect to kick butt on Sunday!

What’s more, I’m going to Vegas baby!

Now, the run may be over after Sunday but the fundraising is still on until mid-January. As of yet I’m currently $2500 from my goal- if you haven’t jumped in yet now is the time!

Consider this my final pre-marathon pitch: December is coming up. And as we approach this season of giving please keep in mind the millions of Americans with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis in need of your help. Inflamatory Bowel Diseases are extremely devastating and as of yet there is no cure.

Help change that fact. Please donate today.

Poopser: New Blogger, No Sugar Coat Needed

November 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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A new name emerged in the blogosphere last week, and she’s hit the keyboard typing. Mary, aka “poopser” put her first entry down on digital paper, and already the comments are rolling in.

Her blog, Crohn’s Disease: The Combat Within, talks about the life and struggle of a woman growing up with IBD. Mary describes herself as a Residential Nurse who loves her job but is unable to work right now because of complications from Crohn’s. She is currently 51 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when she was just eight.

I enjoy hanging with my family and friends and consider myself to be blessed, and a positive, optimistic person despite years of battling Crohn’s. I also like to quilt, read (I loved The Lord of the Rings Series and the Twilight Series, and even Harry Potter books) and I think that Robert Pattenson is “hot” despite the fact that he is just a baby compared to me.

Though she’s new to blogging, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of great content from this bold and straight-forward lady.

Everyone is encouraged to read Mary’s blog and give her feedback and suggestions on what to write about next. She is a very positive thinker, and very generous too (Mary donated to my Crohns TeamChallenger campaign to raise money for children with Crohn’s Disease). She deserves all the support she can get! Help Mary feel at home in the Crohn’s community and among bloggers. Over time I’m sure Poopser will grow to something amazing.

Once more, you can find her blog by clicking here, or clicking the Crohn’s Disease: The Combat Within on my blogroll.

Boozin’ for a Cure, Part Deux

November 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Fundraising event | 2 Comments

Jakes Dilemma- come join us on Saturday, Nov 21st at 9pm!

Jakes Dilemma- come join us on Saturday, Nov 21st at 9pm!

WHAT: Birthday/Crohn’s Disease fundraiser
WHEN: Saturday, November 21 8-10pm (Free drinks from 9-10pm)
WHERE: Jakes Dilemma (Amsterdam Ave between 80th and 81st st – Upper West Side Manhattan)

Help save children with Crohn’s Disease and celebrate my birthday at the same time, $10 at the door for an all-you-can-drink happy hour at Jake’s Dilemma, Saturday night!

Those who came to the first Boozin’ for a Cure,
will remember quite sure
the laughter we shared
while wildly impaired!

Now’s come another chance-
to drink cheap drinks and badly dance,
So come to Jake’s for my birthday
and let’s all drink Crohn’s away!

(Please don’t critique this poem, it’s just not worth it trust me)

——————————————————————–

Alright all, for those who remember the last fundraising drink-till-you-drop event at Stumble Inn to raise money for children with Crohn’s Disease, this weekend’s Boozin’ for a Cure, Part Deux will be twice the craziness and twice the fun!

The managers at Jake’s Dilemma are hosting Crohn’s TeamChallenger and all who come out to support the cause from 9-10pm on Saturday night.

For only $10 at the door you get full well drink access for the entire hour!

PLUS….

Show up early and get $1 beers and $2 shots during Jake’s “Power Hour” from 8-9. I’ll be there pregaming the fundraiser, so feel free to stop by and kick things off early.

If you can’t make it but would like to donate and be part of this great cause you can do so by going to my official team website.

RSVP by emailing, commenting here, or calling me at (310) 218-7242.

Cheers all, I look forward to seeing you there!

Tips for Staying Strong on the Long Run

November 6, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Courtesy of Picapp.comSo you’re thinking about running a marathon? Cheers to you mate, that’s a big commitment. Running that kind of event is a lot of work! Here’s a short article with some tips to keep you going on the long run, written by me, a guy who never saw more than 3 miles pass under his jogging shoe until I started training for the Rock n’ Roll half to benefit children with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It’s my first long distance run of any kind, but the information I pass on comes from both my own experience and that of others.

With time, refinement, and intelligent training, I know that soon I’ll be crossing the finish line of my first marathon. And who knows, maybe one day even an ultra-marathon or two.

After stammering and nearly talking myself out of the whole thing, I decided it was time to bunker down and get serious. Who can blame me for hesitating, I mean long-distance running is a lot of work!

Once I got serious about it though, I took the time to read up on some best practices and applied that to things learned first-hand from previous training sessions- and the results were great!

Don’t Wait Until You’re Thirsty- Have a Plan!

Staying properly hydrated is extremely important on long runs, in researching I read that having a hydration plan prior to undergoing an endurance workout will yield significantly better results than just drinking when the “need” arises. If you’re thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated. At this point you’re likely more exhausted than you would have been had you been drinking water in regimented amounts along the way.
Courtesy of Picapp.com
I purchased the Helium four-bottle hydration belt from Fuel Belt and tried that out. It comes with four small plastic bottles that strap in place firmly along the waist. First I drank a decent amount of water about 20 minutes prior to running (enough to feel hydrated but not too weighed down with liquid) then filled up each bottle half way (roughly 3-4oz each), and drank one down every 15 minutes after the 45 minute mark.

Don’t Dilute Yourself
Water is essential as anyone will tell you, but it’s not all your body needs for the long haul. It’s equally important to keep yourself fueled with the necessary amount of electrolytes. As our Team Challenge New York trainer Jay Hachadoorian explained, our body’s muscles have natural storage capacity for about 1 hour’s continuous activity. After that point you must replenish yourself with the necessary fuel to keep going.

If you’re considering running a long distance, experiment with various on-the-go electrolyte supplements like gels, tabs, or goos. See how they react with your stomach (a good reason not to wait for race day to start trying them!), and which ones gives you the best sustainable lift. My favorite is the Clif Energy Shot Block Chews. They taste great, are convenient to carry around, and don’t seem to cause any stomach issues.

You can support me too if you like- good time for a tax deduction!
* A quick note, I’m not sponsored by either Clif Bar & Co. or Fuel Belt. They’re just great brands that I trust and love.

Crohn’s Disease Vegas Rock n’ Roll Marathon Training and Fundraising Update

November 5, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Posted in training | 1 Comment
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Here’s a status report on my training and fundraising efforts for the Las Vegas Rock n’ Roll half marathon to benefit children with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Also included in this post are some tips on running long distance in a good time. If you haven’t donated yet, please do. There are few places better than this to make your money work this hard for such a great cause.

Running for Children with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Training
The training has been going very well. Extraordinarily well actually. Last week I did a 12 mile jog in 1:46 minutes. That comes to 4 miles more than my previous distance record from the weekend before, and a pace that sets me on track to meet or surely beat my goal time of 1:55 for the half-marathon in December.

On Wednesday I cut the distance in half but picked up the pace and added some hills- came out to 6 miles in 49 minutes.

I can attribute my successful workout to the training advice from, Jay Hachadoorian, our phenomenal personal trainer. He gave me some tips the weekend prior on staying properly hydrated, and moderating pace and breathing as I run. I’ll include those tips in the next post.

Fundraising
On the fundraising front, I’m pleased to announce that with the help of some amazingly generous people (you’re probably one of them at this point, thank you!), we have so far raised $1195.00 for children with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

That’s an amazing amount, really. These donations make a huge difference.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s time to pat ourselves on the back just yet. With 3 weeks to go, my project is still short of its $4000.00 goal.

Please help us reach that goal in any way possible. If you donated, and want to do donate again you can! It’s tax deductible and the end of the year filing period is coming up soon. If you have friends who might be interested in helping, please tell them! Any small measure of support is welcome and appreciated and no donation is too small. Certainly none is too large either!

Don’t forget, the end of the year is coming up and now is the perfect time to accrue some tax deductions!

Thank you for reading and supporting, see you at the finish line.

The Scariest Thing of All

October 31, 2009 at 2:29 am | Posted in IBD Medical Facts | 3 Comments
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Halloween is a holiday of strange appeal. On this day we celebrate the things that we secretly dread and the fantastical terrors that haunt our dreams- the macabre dance of shadows from whistling wind-swept tree limbs, black-clad witches with crooked noses and masked men with shrill laughs and serrated fingernails. For many of us it’s a time to dress in mysterious costumes, impersonate the dead and embrace the night. For others, Halloween is a night to let loose and have fun behind a mask.

In all its many inceptions, Halloween remains a chance to be someone you aren’t. To do things you wouldn’t normally do.
Why are these pumpkins so smiley?

This idea got me thinking, what would people do if they could step outside of themselves and really be another person? What if you had the chance to really face your fears, and it wasn’t all part of some elaborate night of facades, or a scripted ploy built into the walls of a smoky haunted house with strobe lights and bowls of cherry-flavored blood punch?

Would you come out of it with a different outlook?

As you know from this blog, or if we’ve run into each other somewhere in Manhattan, I am running in December for children with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. This is a painful, debilitating disease. And for children it is terrifying. If you don’t know much about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and the effects they have on people, please take a moment and watch the video below from LiveStrong.com.

In this video, Dr. Susan L. McGladdery, the Regional Director from First Med Centers in Hungary, describes the symptoms and effects of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD).

Here are some key points to take away from this video, quoted from Dr. McGladdery-

Inflammatory bowel diseases, either Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, occur when “the linking of the digestive tract becomes inflamed… they’re very painful and debilitating and sometimes even life-threatening conditions.”

Both Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis can cause symptoms in the range of “pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bleeding, weight loss, and anemia.”

One last point that was even shocking to myself was the likelihood of IBD sufferers to develop cancer. This is an important thing to consider- we spend a lot time and resources fighting cancer, and it weighs a great deal on our nation’s healthcare system. So why not spend more time fighting conditions that likely cause cancers to form? Isn’t that the kind of preventative action should be taking in this country?

According to Dr. McGladdery, “both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease also increase your risk of colon cancer. Approximately 10% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease go on to develop a cancer, and the risk is greatest after inflammatory bowel disease has been present and active for 10 years.”

Do you want to do the math on 10% of the 1.2 million people with IBD?

Donate today, so a child doesn’t have to worry about those numbers.

Training Update: Closing in on 10 Miles!

October 27, 2009 at 4:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This week has been phenomenal in every way. Firstly, I am proud to say that my running ability is now far beyond what it ever was before. The training is working- the hills, the incremental increases in distance, speed intervals, and best of all the guiltless mass consumption of carbs- it’s all working! I am thinner, faster, and can now run further than ever before.

9 miles! I used to struggle with 3, now I just need to push it 4 more and I’ll have this half-marathon in the bag. Best of all, I physically feel great about the whole thing. My body isn’t breaking down like I thought it would, it’s actually becoming stronger and more efficient.

I’ll be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever trained for something like this and it made me more nervous than an ant in the shadow of a shoe sole when I started. But thanks to the support from my team, the guidance of my trainer Jay Hachadoorian, and the people following the Crohn’s TeamChallenger cause and telling me their stories, I am motivated and pumped to continue on!

Let’s get together and make some change in this world! Donate today and help better the life of a child with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis!

The Benevolence of Strangers

October 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The internet is an interesting place, especially this latest rendition of it. It’s gone from a large ocean fed by tributaries of voices washing across the phone lines to a series of focused and highly vocal communities. This great ocean has been desalinized and drained into small glasses- easy to drink from. Easier still to fill again.

The most beautiful thing to come out of the internet’s second coming, is the focused communities it so desperately needed in the first. The noise has been tuned into, to the point where I can take up a cause and 2 months later have close friends that I help and who help me in return.

Today a fellow advocate for Crohn’s awareness wrote this about me on his website.

I want to give a special note for Nicholas Collard. He is someone who does not have Crohn’s Disease, and didn’t know anyone with it. He took it upon himself to start doing marathon fundraisers for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). He has also right now switched focus to Camp Oasis, and helping kids. This is a wonderful camp for kids with Irritable Bowel Diseases.

Nicholas was also incredibly kind to feature CDSN in his blog:
https://teamchallenger.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/meet-the-crohns-community/

More information can be found about Nicholas under the Crohn’s Fund-raising tab; def worth the read!

Thanks Nicholas for all your support and awareness for IBD.

-Jason

This really means a lot, and as I keep saying, it serves as further motivation to keep up the cause. Thank you.

Also, don’t forget, I am raising money for children with Crohn’s Disease. I say this for those who just stumbled onto here from Google. If you would like to contribute to this charity fundraiser, click here to be redirected to my CCFA page. We’ve raised $850 so far, and are steadily on the way to making the $4000 goal by December. All money goes to the CCFA, which funds Camp Oasis for children suffering from Irritable Bowel Diseases.

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