Meet the Crohn’s Community

October 20, 2009 at 11:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

One of the most rewarding parts of this whole fundraising endeavor has been meeting and conversing with people with Crohn’s Disease. There are whole communities out there, helping and supporting each other through this illness. It’s been a pleasure finding those people and getting to know them individually. Two things they all have in common: everyone I’ve spoken to has been very friendly, and they have all been so grateful for the work being done to raise money and awareness for their disease. And while I’m not doing this for recognition, I can’t say I don’t appreciate being appreciated.

Here are some of the people I’ve met and groups I’ve followed since starting Crohn’s TeamChallenger. Please, take a look at these sites and let them know you appreciate their work as well.

CDSN Firstly there is the Crohn’s Disease Support Network created by Jason Leitman. This site is built using ning.com and provides users with a forum to chat with each other and provide support and useful information on a variety of topics surrounding IBD. The site also contains a link to Jason’s blog, along with several others. You can log on directly, or find it on Twitter via the hashtag #CDSN and of course by adding Jason at @Jason31480. Odds are if you go there, he’ll be in the chat room- so send him a holla and let him know I sent you!

Another great resource is the blog My Journey with Crohn’s Disease by Inna Lukyanovsky. This blog is another all-encompassing one-stop shop for information on living with Crohn’s Disease. The layout of the page is very simple to navigate, making the multitude of information more easily accessable. Find the blog directly, or link to it from its parent site Journey with Crohn’s Disease, which contains still more information on Crohn’s Disease. You can also tweet Inna with your comments and questions at @CrohnsSolutions. Be sure to be friendly and follow her while you’re there, the support is always appreciated.

And if you’re wondering what’s being done for people outside of America, take a look at the Rubber Side Down project by Greg Mailloux, Vin Heney, John Scott, and Andy Peterson. These guys set out to ride “from the Rockies to the Rock” in support of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada. A large part of their project’s mission, like my own, is to raise awareness on its own for Crohn’s and colitis.

Canada has one of the highest prevalences of Crohn’s and Colitis in the world, yet many Canadians are still unaware the causes and effects of these debilitating diseases. Along with spreading the word about the prevalence of these diseases, by the very nature of biking across Canada we will promote physical activity and sound ecological practices.

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Camp Oasis

October 12, 2009 at 1:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

camp oasis I was giving some thought to my reasons for fundraising for a cure for Crohn’s disease and decided to further focus my efforts. Going forward I will be training, running, and fundraising specifically for the children who have Crohn’s disease.

Most forms of Crohn’s set in between the ages of 15 and 20 years old, but flare ups can occur at a younger age as well. These symptoms can be devastating, especially to a young child who does not understand what is happening.

Look at children in the parks, look how they play. Now imagine the children that cannot be there along with the ones you see. They have severe stomach aches that keep them in bed, or diarrhea and bleeding throughout the day that prevents them from having a normal, fun, enjoyable childhood.

I thought about this today and decided I can’t live complacently in a world where that is a reality. Children are tomorrow’s leaders, but today they should at least be allowed to be children- without reservation or restriction. Without pain.

With the generous donations of people just like you, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is able to provide millions of dollars a year in grants to funding research on groundbreaking treatments for Crohn’s disease; bringing us one step closer to finding a cure.

In addition to that, the CCFA also uses money collected to fund Camp Oasis, a summer camp designed to enrich the lives of children suffering from Crohn’s disease. Children and teens attending Camp Oasis develop friendships and support, and learn that they are not alone. The activities support them while providing them with a fun and adventurous camp getaway experience.

Their words speak for themselves: one camp member, Sarah, describes Camp Oasis as “a place where I could have a caring and understanding environment and I could have fun without worrying about others judging me.”

Be a part of this great endeavor, won’t you?

Click here and make your donation to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, through Team Challenge New York, so that camp will stay open and a cure will be found.

“The Test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” ~James Buchanan

Two Sources of Inspiration in the Fight Against Crohn’s Disease

October 5, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I want to share today two names of great people. Dr. Stacy Spaulding and Jennifer Robinson.

Dr. Spaulding is a former professor of mine at Towson University in Maryland. She has been a source of constant source of knowledge and inspiration for me as I’ve traversed the continent trying to leave a footprint on this life. when I announced my fundraising effort, she so readily took up the cause and has helped get the word out about the Crohn’s TeamChallenger project. This week she took it a step further and made a very generous contribution to my fundraiser.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything you’ve done.

The second person is Jennifer Robinson, a woman I have never met who reached out to me yesterday and told me her story. She told me about her battle against Crohn’s disease that has been going on for over two years now. She told me about the pain and discomfort, and the constant illness that at one point caused her weight to drop rapidly to just 90 lbs. Jennifer is doing much better now thanks to innovative new treatments and lifestyle changes she’s made. I look forward to speaking with her again soon.

Thank you Jennifer for sharing your story. You are a renewed source of motivation for me.

Folks, please donate to this cause so the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America can continue developing new treatments and one day a cure for the hundreds of thousands of people living in this country with Crohn’s disease.

Training and Fundraiser update

September 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yesterday the word went out about the TeamChallenger Boozin’ for a Cure party at Stumble Inn on Monday, Oct. 5 from 9-10pm. I’m so happy to see people signing up already. Who knew doing something for a good cause could be so much fun!

I want you all to be assured that I am pouring all that I have into this effort. But despite that it is YOU the readers, supporters, and contributors who are making this opportunity possible. It is because of YOU that I am now running 5 to 6 miles at a time, 4 days a week and will continue striving to do even better.

It is because of YOU that we have raised hundreds of dollars already and will raise thousands more before December comes to give a better life to the the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children living with Crohn’s disease in this country.

Thank you all.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Boozin’ for a Cure- Monday Oct. 5, 9-10 PM

September 29, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Stumble Inn Bar on 76th and 2nd Ave (UES)

Stumble Inn Bar on 76th and 2nd Ave (UES)

Come join us at the Stumble Inn on the corner of 76th st. and 2nd Ave. (UES) and let’s drink to a cure! That’s right, the generous managers at Stumble  Inn are letting Crohns TeamChallenger host the first ever Boozin’ For a Cure.

Beer, wine, well drinks, it’s going to be swell! Just $10 at the door and you needn’t pay more for an hour of unlimited drinking. Tell your friends, tell your coworkers! Come one come all- the more the merrier, it’s going to be a regular hootenanny – and all money collected at the door goes to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. So you can drink with the satisfaction of knowing that your inebriated ways are helping to find a cure for hundreds of thousands of people nationwide suffering from this debilitating and life-altering illness.

Please RSVP by leaving a comment here or going to the Boozin’ for a Cure event page on Facebook and signing up. Of course nobody will be turned away, so if you don’t get a chance to sign up feel free to join us anyway!

Remember to tell your friends, your parents, your grandparents, your friends’ grandparents, and anyone else that might be interested!

And what’s more… all drafts are $1 for the rest of the night! Sweet!

Philanthropy rocks! See you there!

Nick Got Sick

September 10, 2009 at 4:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

As you may have all noticed, I haven’t posted here in a while. For that I am so sorry. I haven’t completely neglected TeamChallenger, mind you. Just couldn’t find time to post all the great updates this week.

Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon I set aside “coffee shop” time- where I boost (Editor: isn’t that a term for stealing cars?) WiFi from Starbucks and write my blog. Somewhere in the middle of Saturday coffee shop time, though, I became extremely sick and had to go to the hospital. I’ll spare you the details, but just know that I am much better now. Of course the blog and my training had to take backseat for awhile while I got back on my feet (and changed out of the polka-dotted hospital gown that always unties in the back, leaving me exposed and asking where that draft is coming from).

I added new pages and links to the blog, check them out. The top blogroll links haven’t been updated by their authors in awhile, but they’re good reads nonetheless for those of you looking to learn about Crohn’s disease and colitis. They range from medical journals about the conditions, to a fantastic blog by the New York Times profiling people with Crohn’s, to blogs about everyday life written by people with Crohn’s. All very educational and inspirational.

Now that I’m back though I have some great news!

On September 14, Team Challenge New York, myself included, will be featured on Good Morning America between 7-8 am EDT. It would be great if you all tuned in and showed your support.

TeamChallenger is officially a coast-to-coast movement now, having so far gathered $350 from 4 different states! Thank you to everyone who made that possible. To see the ongoing list of contributors, visit the donors’ list on my blog. When you’re finished reading that, become one yourself!

Final announcement: my last jog was 5 miles! That is already the most I have ever run. Not bad for a former short-distance runner.

P.S. If anyone has a dog, I would love to run it at the park! Seriously, if you live in New York City I’m offering free dog running services for well-trained good natured dogs.

Every Story Needs a Hero

September 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Here’s  to the people who are making this happen. No donation is too small, every dollar is immensely appreciated.

Here is a list of donors so far in order of when they contributed. Thank you all so very much, and keep an eye on your mailbox-  you may be getting something very soon.

Here it is, the official list of Heroes so far:

Beth Poston

Jennifer Hotrum

Kristin White

Kim Shipley

Scott Armstrong

Can’t wait to expand the roster. Thank you so much everybody.

What Is Your Cause?

September 1, 2009 at 3:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I just came back from the Team Challenge New York kickoff party on Broadway, and have two things to say:

1.) Charlie O’s on Broadway and 49th st. has really delicious chicken fingers (and cute waitresses)!

2.) This group is going to be awesome! Rarely do you find such a dynamic and energetic bunch of people that are so passionate about what they’re doing. We’re going to put the “Rock” in this December’s Vegas Rock n’ Roll half-marathon.

What stood out the most, besides the way everyone electrified the room, were the stories. So many stories to be told, so many reasons for everyone to give it their all and make this happen an extraordinary event.

Now, I want to hear from you. Go to the Personal Experiences page and leave a comment answering the questions at the bottom of the post. Let readers know what drives you and why this is an important cause.

The Facts on Crohn’s and TeamChallenge New York

September 1, 2009 at 3:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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teamchallengeCrohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are painful illnesses that attack the digestive system. Approximately 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from these conditions.

But there is hope from people like you. A full 80% of all money raised through TeamChallenge, in conjunction with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), goes to direct research, education, and support services for those with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

The CCFA has so far invested in over 1,100 grants with the help of its generous donors. In 2007 the CCFA was able to allocate $16 million to the cause; a 250% increase from just two years prior!

Now we need your help more than ever as TeamChallenge New York hits the asphalt to help beat that record!

Do it for someone you love, or do it for nobody at all. For whatever reason, donate today and give someone the gift of a brighter future.

What I’m Doing (What Have I Done!?!?)

September 1, 2009 at 3:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

These last few days have been a change of pace to say the least. I’ve bid adieu to the local bar and traded in my Sunday lunch and sports routine for a pair of new running shoes and a box of Crunchy Peanut Butter CLIF Bars.

It’s a challenge no doubt, to myself and to the people who rely on our efforts to help them as they struggle to overcome Crohn’s disease and Colitis. I fully anticipate to give up several frivolous activities to make this happen, but if each hour of Facebook that I delete from my after-work regiment can become an hour spent helping to save the life of a loved one, then its an all-around win. This is a phenomenal opportunity for me to do something good as a part of Team Challenge New York while getting a workout and weening myself out of the pitfalls of Web 2.0.

Okay, I lied. I love Web 2.0, so I built this blog- Team Challenger. And with your help, this will become more than a nod toward doing something productive with my free-time, it will save lives.

So follow along as this 200 pound top-heavy hiker who only ever played football as an offensive lineman strives to develop a forte in long-distance running. Then tell your friends that this blog is “off the hook” and all the cool kids are reading it.

Maybe you can trick them into becoming heroes too.

Best Regards to all of you. See you at the finish line.

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