What I'm Fundraising For - I'm fundraising to support Professor Herman-Taylor, at Kings College London, in his work on the Crohn's MAP vaccine and the diagnostic test. My son was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at the age of 12 and although under control, he still has frequent flare-ups causing pain, fatigue and weight-loss. The Crohn's MAP vaccine is the best hope for a cure for Crohn's Disease but the research needs continual funding to be successful.
What is Crohn's Disease - Crohn's Disease is a debilitating and aggressive form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, affecting around 5 million people worldwide, including around 120,000 in the UK. Symptoms include chronic severe abdominal pain, weight loss, bloody diarrhea and fatigue. Up to 80% of patients require surgery at some point and there is no cure. The usual treatment is immunosuppressive therapies, however a vaccine would provide a cure for Crohn's Disease.
The Science - Prof. John Herman-Taylor is an an expert in Crohn's Disease and has worked on it for 30 years, he believes it is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium avium sub. paratuberculosis (or MAP for short), a distant cousin of TB. MAP is commonly passed to humans through milk, it was thought for many years that Crohn's Disease was caused by a bacterium but diagnostic tests weren't available to prove this. Prof. Herman-Taylor has developed a modern therapeutic vaccine against MAP and a diagnostic test to monitor MAP.
Medical Trials so far - Animal trials have shown that the vaccine is very effective against MAP. Medical (human) trials are now being undertaken by the Jenner Institute, Oxford. Phase-1 Trials, on healthy adults, were been completed successfully last year. Phase-2 Trials, on patients with Crohn's Disease, have been approved and will start early this year. An essential element of these trials is the MAP diagnostic test, which allows the medical team to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine. The MAP diagnostic test is run by Prof Herman-Taylor, at Kings College London, needs continued funding to operate.
My Challenges - I have been a kayaker for about 15 years and took up sea kayaking about 4 years ago, after my son got ill. I challenged myself to get good enough to take on a few difficult challenges including a 105 km (65 mile) circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight, 40 km (26 mile) of open crossings to the Holm Islands in the Bristol Channel and a 4-day expedition from Cornwall to Somerset. I accomplished these challenges and raised an amazing amount of money for Crohn's MAP thanks to supporters. This year I am doing another series of challenges which I hope to be bigger and better than before.
Please support me in these challenges as I push myself to my limits in a sea kayak - you can follow the challenges in my blog, kayingforcrohns.org and on Facebook
Here’s what you could do.
- Visit and share the website www.crohnsmapvaccine.com and Facebook pages,
- Share this page on facebook, twitter or IBD forums
- Join me in fundraising! Find out more onhttps://www.facebook.com/CrohnsMAPVaccineHeroes orhttp://crohnsmapvaccine.com/fundraising/