Kick Ass

There are about 486 things in the works in my world these days and blogging has been on the back burner as far as my work output but at the absolute forefront of my mind daily. I have dozens of blogging topics running around my brain but this one is closest to my heart.

So close to my heart, in fact, that I’m scared to write it. I’m kind of afraid to fail and this is a big undertaking for me.

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I have Ulcerative Colitis. I mean, technically I guess I don’t have it anymore cuz I don’t have a colon. That’s right. I’m colon-free and kicking ass!

No colon, no cry. No co-lon, no cryyyyyy.

No colon, no cry. No co-lon, no cryyyyyy.

In the Spring of 2010 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (sexy!) that, along with Crohn’s Disease, develops as a result of a overreaction of the immune system. Basically, people with IBD have malfunctioning immune systems that attack the entire digestive system. It’s causes are unknown but it is likely hereditary and absolutely unpreventable and incurable (except for surgery for UC patients).

I don’t want to make this a graphic description about what happens to those of us who have IBD, but you gotta know it’s Hell on Earth.

Vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding ulcers, anemia, joint pain, severe abdominal pain, cramps, weight loss, loss of bowel control, fever, constipation, severe exhaustion, night sweats, and so many more specific to the individual patient. Hell. On. Earth.

Colonoscopies, steroids, chemotherapy, anti-immunity drugs, craaaazy diets, nutritional IVs, and everything in between.

Colonoscopies, steroids, chemotherapy, anti-immunity drugs, craaaazy diets, nutritional IVs, and everything in between. Told you. Hell.

There’s a reason that one of my favorite support groups is called My Doctor Knows Me Best From Behind. It’s a disease that people all over the country and world live with silently. Well, not me. I’ve been open about my disease, my colostomy bag, my stoma named Rosebud, and my fight.

I’ve shared with you my journey to surgery in 2012, then {unexpectedly} the second surgery, and finally clawing my way back after surgery. It’s not always been pretty but one thing I have vowed to never be is silent. Not that I’m ever silent about, well, anything…but I digress.

Colostomy bag or no colostomy bag, I'm proud to sport my tummy on the Internet!

Colostomy bag or no colostomy bag, I’m proud to sport my tummy on the Internet!

On June 8, 2013, I will be running 13.1 miles in my beautiful hometown of Sweet Home Chicago as a member of Team Challenge. We are the runners and walkers who raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America in the hopes that in ten years there will be a cure for IBD.

Team Challenge NYC (shamelessly stolen from Daphnie's FB page).

Team Challenge NYC (shamelessly stolen from Daphnie’s FB page).

I know people ask for donations for all sorts of diseases every day. But I also know that many of you asked me how you could help when I was diagnosed, in the hospital, and recovering. Well, here’s your chance!

I’m hosting the Kick Ass (or Kick Butt) Virtual 5K to benefit Team Challenge on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013. Why April 9th? That was the date last year when I scheduled the surgery that would remove my colon. It was a very big and scary day for me but it was also the day I took steps to get my health and my life back.

  • Date: April 9, 2013
  • Time: Any time of day your heart desires.
  • Location: Central Park, East River track, the treadmill at your gym, the bike in your basement, your neighborhood sidewalk, and anywhere else you can find.
  • Activity: Run, walk, bike, swim, or jump a 5K (3.1 miles)–your choice!
  • Cost: $15 donation to my team donation page.
  • Bonuses: $15 gets you one entry into the AWESOME raffle I’m putting together. Every $10 after that gets you another entry into the raffle. $50 gets you 5 entries.
  • Prizes: Still coming together, but I predict fancy workout clothes, great shoes, fun fitness accessories, and some more cool stuff. I’m working on it and it’s gonna be GREAT.

How you register:

  1. Donate to my page ($15 minimum).
  2. Email me (runstrongereveryday@gmail.com) that you did and how much so I can enter you into the raffle.
  3. Extra entry for blogging or tweeting about it (make sure you tag me or let me know!).
  4. Sport the race bib I email you and run/bike/swim/wheelbarrow a 5K on April 9th.
  5. Send me a picture of you sporting your bib, biking in the gym, running on your treadmill, or any other photo so I can include it in the blog recap of the race.

Time doesn’t matter, I don’t care if you do it one mile (or half-mile) at a time, and everyone is on the honor system. If you get sick, do it another day. No worries! My goal is 50 runners. I know, I know. Shooting for the moon. But I have a big family, $15 is roughly 3 latees a week, and you can literally walk your dog for 3.1 miles.

You can Kick Ass or Kick Butt, your choice. But together, we will find a cure for IBD!

You can Kick Ass or Kick Butt, your choice. But together, we will find a cure for IBD!

Please consider supporting me. This disease took my colon but I swore on April 9, 2012 that it wouldn’t take my life. And it didn’t. And it won’t. Yeah, my J-pouch is still kinda wonky but I will never look back on my choice with regret, rather I choose to stare this disease in the face and say, “I’m colon-free and kicking ass!!!”

Kick Ass (or Butt, if you prefer) with me, won’t you?

Now go out and run!

PS. If you or your organization would like to donate something for the raffle, please email me: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com

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69 thoughts on “Kick Ass

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  3. Abby this is so awesome! I’m forwarding it our San Diego Team Challenge people and will definitely be running your virtual 5k. Good luck with your fundraising!

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  5. Abby, I ran Team Challenge in Vegas last December. It was one of the most inspiring experiences ever. An 8 y/o girl with Crohn’s spoke so eloquently in front of around 1700 people at the pasta party the night before, just so thankful to everyone running to help kids like her; I think the whole room teared up. You will love it. Count me in for your virtual 5k. David

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  8. Abby, you are SUCH an inspiration. The strength of people like you and my best friend, Katie, who has survived cancer twice, just blow me away. You guys are simply incredible. And kickass. Will definitely be running this and sharing it on my blog!

  9. Hi Abby! I found you through Lauren at Forward is a Pace – I just wanted to say what a cool idea this is, and I’m in! My husband has Crohn’s and had two surgeries a few years ago, so this is definitely a cause close to my heart, and I know at least second-hand how much it can suck. Your attitude is awesome, and I’d say you’re definitely kicking ass!

  10. Hi Abby! I am registering to run in your race along with my husband (who also has ulcerative colitis) and I will post your link on my blog as well! We will get the virtual race out there so everyone can run it..what a wonderful idea. Can’t wait to kickass!

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  19. Thank you so much for doing this! I also suffer from UC, but from what my doctor’s tell me it’s more of a mild case since it’s only left sided. I was diagnosed 10 years ago and continue to battle with my symptoms everyday. I ran in Virgina with Team Challenge last June and it was such an amazing experience. I helped me “come out of the bathroom” with my disease and have the courage to talk about it.

    So thanks for being so honest and strong. You really help others like me know we’re not alone because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT!!!

    I’ll be running with you on April 9th and posting about this on my blog this week!

    • Awesome, Sarah! Thank you so much for your support. We IBD Sisters gotta stick together. Congratulations on your “coming out”, I fully agree that it’s empowering and necessary for every IBD-er. Don’t forget to send me a picture of you rocking your bib on April 9th!

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  21. Abby, I just got the “all clear” from my ortho to go slowly back into activities. Your 5K will be my first attempt back into the running world (even if I walk) but it seemed fitting that I’ll be in NY as well.

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  29. You are so inspiring!! I am running Team Challenge-Chicago myself. This will be my 2nd half for Team Challenge. Crohn’s or Colitis does not hit personally to home, but I work in GI and live through my patients and they are my inspiration to do this. See you in Chicago! :)

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  50. I am so happy there are other people out there who stay positive despite how horrible UC is. My spouse has (or had) UC and suffered for 6 years before surgery. He is not ashamed and is so much more happier and healthier since the procedure. You’re awesome! :)

  51. I just like the helpful info you provide to your articles. I will
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    Good luck for the following!

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