Saturday, we took the kids down to the National Mall in Washington for the annual CCFA Take Steps walk. The Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America is a national charity that raises funds and awareness for Inflammatory Bowel Disease sufferers worldwide. While IBD may sound innocuous, like it’s the name of a new boy-band or a brand of root beer, it’s actually a very painful and life changing illness plaguing some 12 million or so Americans. Rochelle was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease as a teen and struggles with it’s symptoms on a daily basis.
Some days she is pain free. Others, she feels like someone is kicking her in the abdomen with steel-toed work boots repeatedly. For hours at a time. Crohns also plays havoc with her bathroom habits, often forcing her to sprint full speed across her office to prevent an embarrassing eruption from occurring with little notice.
The worst thing about Crohns is that like many other auto-immune diseases, it is both chronic and incurable. Symptoms and flares can be held in check by taking steroids and biologics, such as Prednisone and Humira, but those drugs are both costly and come with their own life-destroying baggage.
This is where the work of the CCFA comes in. Funds raised by the charity are used to improve research and promote awareness. The hope is, with medical advances, one day a cure will be found, or at least better treatments will become available. One treatment that is currently in clinical trials involves swallowing millions of tiny worms. Yummmmy.
So, one of the ways we lend support is through fundraising and doing walks throughout the year. The Capital Area walk is the grandfather of CCFA walks… and attracts hundreds from around the capital area every June.
At the staging area, the event coordinators had set up… I kid you not… a 40 foot plastic colon for children to crawl though. The inner walls of the colon were adorned with various diseases, such as Crohns, diverticulitis, cancer, polyps… ect. and featured some nice hemorrhoids at the exit.
At first glance, I thought it was one of those giant worm creatures from Frank Herbert’s Dune… was there spice nearby?
I thought, man, I wonder if I could rent out that thing for parties! Hey kids, for Hannah’s birthday, we’re getting a moon bounce and a 40 foot colon to crawl through!