What is an Honoree?
An Honoree is someone who provides inspiration to our athletes throughout the training and fundraising period. Honorees serve as symbols of strength and motivation, support and determination. An Honoree is someone who is currently is being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Each of our TEAM CHALLENGE participants is matched up with an Honoree. Honorees have the unique opportunity to connect with individuals who have committed themselves to raising funds for the fight against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. They will share their strength and courage with participants who are training to complete their endurance event.
When participants join TEAM CHALLENGE, they commit to many months of training and fundraising before completing a half marathon. They are not only motivated by their own personal fitness goals, but are truly inspired by the bravery and fortitude of each Honoree.
MEET OUR HONOREE!
Today I am a happy, optimistic, and energetic 17-year-old high school senior. But In the spring of 2001, when I was only four, I started feeling lethargic and asked my mom to cancel play dates so I could rest. My symptoms continued to progress and on the second day of kindergarten, I had my first colonoscopy and received my diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. My homework on that day was to learn to swallow pills.
Five years later, after swallowing thousands of pills and experimenting with numerous alternative therapies, I was told it was time for the ‘cure’. In August 2006, I had my entire colon removed. But my ‘cure’ hasn’t been entirely successful and I still have issues today with my internal J-pouch and side effects from years of some medications, and one day I may need more surgeries. However, currently I am certainly healthy enough to complete a half marathon and fundraise for CCFA!
I am a part CCFA because of all of the many people who live with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis who have touched my life in significant ways. Their stories and struggles are all unique because IBD affects people so differently. I know so many people who are battling Crohn’s and have been in and out of hospitals more times than I can count. They’ve dealt with multiple surgeries and some have been on prescription nutritional beverages or tube feeding for years because they couldn’t eat food. In addition many of the kids and teens experienced significant growth delays which can affect one’s self esteem. One of my friends who also had her colon removed was so ill that she spent 110 days in the hospital and was in a medically induced coma for several weeks and she still had surgeries and hospitalizations after that!
For the past 12 years, I have been an active volunteer for CCFA and have lobbied in Washington D. C. three times for legislation for those living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. In 2006, I was instrumental in the passage of Texas H.B. 416, the Restroom Access Act, which became a law in the state of Texas. I have been a guest speaker at a CCFA seminar, a past recipient of the national CCFA Local Hero Award, as well as the South Texas CCFA’s Youth Ambassador for the Women of Distinction Winter Ball. I am also very active in the Girl Scouts, I have served as four-year manager for the dance/drill team - the Sun Dancers, have been a member of the choir since my freshman year, serve on Dell Children’s Youth Advisory Council , and I’m also a part of Girls Giving Grants which funds grants to benefit local non-profit charities.
When I grow up, I would like to be either a child life specialist or a lobbyist. But right now I’m enjoying hanging out and laughing with friends, watching movies, eating chocolate and participating in 5K runs as my health permits.