On Sunday, Sept. 30, the third annual Take Steps, Be Heard for Crohn’s and Colitis was held at Bel Vino Winery. Over 300 people attended the event that raised $27,000 which exceeded the goal of $7,000 to help raise funds and awareness for Crohn’s disease and colitis.
Crohn’s and colitis are known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), commonly confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms. IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
In IBS, the structure of the bowel is not abnormal. Crohn’s disease may attack anywhere along the digestive track, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, weight loss, fatigue, among many other symptoms. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery.
One in 200 people suffer from Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 being under the age of 18. Most people develop the disease between the ages of 15 and 35. Both Crohn’s disease and colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses where only medication can help relieve some of the symptoms.
This year’s Honored Hero was Temecula resident Kristy Hickman; at the event, Hickman shared her experience and 20-year struggle with Crohn’s disease. For the past three years, Hickman has been in remission due to medical care from doctors at UCSD. She is a true inspiration to anyone with IBD because of her determination to not let the disease take over her life.
The fourth annual Take Steps, Be Heard for Crohn’s and Colitis event will be held in Temecula next September. If you would like to be involved with the event as a sponsor, participant, or volunteer, contact Laura Pinner at [email protected] For more information on Crohn’s or colitis, visit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America website at www.ccfa.org or call (888) 694-8872.