UC to J-Pouch Story

Warriors with Guts!

Posted by stephlws on October 28, 2008

Hello everyone!

I am writing to your in regards to a cause that is very near and dear to your hearts. We have all taken on the same monsters: UC and Crohn’s. We have spent nights clinging to our toilets (might as well have slept in the bathtub!), shed pounds from malnourishment because we were afraid to touch a scrap of food, and gained all those pounds back from the ridiculous amounts of Prednisone. We’ve had doctors sticking scopes, fingers, and other unfriendly objects in places we assumed were for “EXIT ONLY.” For some of us, the answer has been medication. For others, surgery. It may affect us all in different ways, but we share a common bond in our bowels.
As many of you know, I myself underwent j-pouch surgery since my UC wasn’t controlled by any meds (which is the case with most of us if I’m not much mistaken). While I am tremendously grateful to be rid of the disease, I also believe it is unfortunate for ANYONE to have to resort to such a difficult process in order to eliminate the “menace”. Some don’t even get to make the choice of having surgery. There are still a million good people out there who must overcome this obstacle every day of their lives. Many of you j-pouchers yourselves in various steps of the recovery process, so you know precisely what I mean when I say this. J-pouch surgery is no picnic (although it is significantly better than UC). As for Crohn’s, there’s still no known cure. This must come to an END!

Here’s where our cause comes into play:
Again, some of you are already aware, I am an honored teammate for Team Illinois in the Crohn’s and Colitis Team Challenge Half- Marathon. 32 team members are currently training and raising funds to run or walk 13.6 miles in Miami, FL come January. All funds go toward the CCFA. They will run and walk with other teams from all over the country to fight Crohn’s and Colitis. I have thrown myself into the fray to help raise for the Foundation. Although I initially signed up to participate and train in the race, the timing of my surgeries and recovery did not allow me the opportunity to do so, but I have found other ways of contributing.

I know economically, things are tighter than ever. It’s tough (especially for some of you as college/high school students!). Nevertheless, I feel that this is something we, of all people, must support in any way we can. We have been into the Lion’s Den. We have seen the deepest, darkest depths of our own selves and said, “I refuse to live this way.” Some people can’t make that choice. Some people still have to explain their disease and see the expressions of perplexity and, dare I say it, judgement. Others still have to take 15 or 20 pills a day just to stay in remission. Even other must still suffer the wrath of a puffy face and its repercussions every now and then to get it under control. We can help them all. We are all brothers, sister, friends, comrades in arms. We all drink our cups of pain. We have the chance to make it better for others to come so they don’t have to suffer the way we have.

I ask you please with all of my heart, as one who understands and has shared the pain, to make a contribution to the Team. Anything you can possibly donate will suffice, every little bit goes a long way, trust me.

Visit my web page to donate online or you can send me a check (make it out to the CCFA) at 10145 S. Komensky Ave Oak Lawn, IL 60453. Even if you cannot contribute, send this to your friends, your family, anyone you know who can help. There are other ways to promote the cause that don’t involve money. Spreading the word is one of them! This support will fund research, awareness, and patient and family services like Camp Oasis (for UC/Crohn’s patients under 18 to spend a week together in a safe, fun environment among fellow Crohnies and Colies).

There are plenty of other ways to help too! If you want to learn more about the program, you can visit:

http://ccteamchallenge.org It’s never too late to join in the fun and make a difference in your own special way!

We know what it means to feel alone in our struggles, and some of us also know what it means to have a second chance. We are stronger, wiser, and ultimately happier thanks to the obstacles we have overcome. Now we have the chance to make a difference, to improve, and to hope for a cure for future generations. Please consider making a small contribution. You all have made me a better person and helped me realize how important it is not to take anything for granted. I’ve found some great friends in whom I can trust and admire wholeheartedly: in Carmen, a spectacular joie de vivre; in Josh and Lisa, a barrel of laughs and smiles; in Dennis, a profound sense of self and others; in Kyel, an enthusiasm and sense of humor to be envied; in Mark and Megan, the courage to overcome anything; in Marisa, determination and pure joy; and in Sean, the unyielding optimism in making a tough choice just to name a few. Every piece of them has helped build me back up from my hole in the ground in some special way. Now I wish to help the others like us.
Join me in my effort to put a stop to these nasty, unpredictable diseases by checking out my site and making a donation:


Side note: For those of you in the Chicago area, Team Challenge and I are putting together a charity improv show for the cause. I have an improv troupe put together called the “Gut Busters” and we’re going to perform games and scenes similar to the show Whose Line Is It Anyway? The show will be in late November, just before Thanksgiving! I will keep you updated in the upcoming weeks! I would love to see some of you there!

So take a moment to check out the site, send it to a friend, put it on your blog perhaps. Support our cause and let’s make a difference together!

Thank you so much for your support! I hope you’re all enjoying everything life has to offer and that I’ll get to talk to you soon!

Best of health!


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