I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2015.
Crohn’s is one of the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), the other being Ulcerative Colitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system or gut. Crohn’s is a chronic condition, it is ongoing and life-long, although there can be periods of good health (remission), as well as times when symptoms are more active (relapses or flare-ups).
There are over 90,000 people living with Crohn’s Disease in the UK, with someone diagnosed every 30 minutes.This is after what is often a long and uncertain period of severe illness and before what will inevitably be an even longer process of finding a treatment that works for them. And even then, it’s not always a permanent solution.
8 out of 10 sufferers will have surgery at some point. Almost everyone will experience flares which will leave them too exhausted to get out of bed, unable to eat, losing drastic amounts of weight and crippled in pain (to name but a few symptoms). As a result will not be able to do any of the things most take for granted, like going to work, socialising or even taking a shower.
Which leads me to why I’m embarking on what will likely be a truly torturous experience and a sheer test both physically and mentally. In a moment of madness last October I signed up to do the Great North Run - I know.
Having stopped pretty much all physical activity (never mind running) when I became ill, I was anxious that I needed to get my body moving again but at a complete loss of where to start. I reasoned that a challenge, and an opportunity to do something positive with my experience, was just what I needed.
I’m hoping to raise £400 raise for a charity who are committed to giving people with IBD a better quality of life, to treatment, support, research and ultimately finding a cure for a disease we still know relatively little about.
Crohn’s and Colitis UK is the UK’s leading charity in the battle against Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. They work make life better for the 300,000 people in the UK living with IBD. They want to see a world in which people’s lives are not limited by Crohn’s and Colitis, and so do I.