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.
ISABELLA "IZZY" MAULDIN
My name is Isabella "Izzy" Mauldin, AKA Crohn's Fighter 13. I am so excited to be a Team Challenge Honoree! I hope that my story inspires you this season while fundraising and training your way to Las Vegas! This is my story, but it is only one story. There's an estimated 1.5 million stories of those living with Crohn's disease and/or ulcerative colitis.
My story began in May 2011. I started feeling exhausted all the time, ran a constant low grade fever, and it seemed like I was always at the doctor's office. My doctor looked for all sorts of things, mono, flu, various infections etc. I began having some bathroom trouble; diarrhea followed by days of constipation which led to terribly painful impactions. Iwas losing weight even though my diet hadn't changed. I couldn't play soccer or basketball, which I love, without becoming completely exhausted and I missed a lot of school. My symptoms were a mystery to my doctor until I developed a large abscess on my bottom. She sent me to to a surgeon who took one look at the abscess and sent me straight to the GI floor of Children's Hospital where I was admitted for tests and sugery. The abscess had formed from a fistula that was connecting the lower part of my colon to the outside of my body. A colonoscopy, endoscopy, pill cam and countless other tests led to a diagnosis of Crohn's disease in February 2012. I was nine years old.
The diagnosis was a shock but in some ways I was relieved to finally know what as wrong with me. I was then faced with what it means to live with Crohn's disease because there is NOT a cure! The first medication that I was put on didn't work. The fistula was not healing and I endured another unsuccessful surgery to try to close the fistula. I was still tired all the time, still had constant fevers, still had diarrhea followed by constipation and impactions, completely stopped growing, couldn't eat much of anything(Ensure kept me alive), and missed weeks and weeks of school. About four months after my diagnosis I began a new medication and started to feel better. The fistula began to heal, I gained some weight and my energy level increased. I am better than I was in the beginning but I still have problems. Crohn's is a very unpredictable disease and I never know from one day to the next how I will feel. When my medication wears off my symptoms return and the medication works by suppressing my immune system so I get sick often and it take me a long time to recover. There are days when I am in the bathroom all day long and that makes going to school very hard.
When I learned that there is not a cure for IBD, I began a mission to help find one! I desperately need your help on my mission along with 1 in 200 other Americnas. Even if you do not live with or know anyone that lives with IBD you can help raise awareness by sharing my story. These diseases affect so many people, yet so few have heard of them, much less know what they are. My family and I say THANK YOU for helping find a cure! I might be a Team Challenge Honoree, but each one of you are my hero!Check out this video Izzy made and pass it along!
Patrick is eleven years old and a happy sixth grader. He enjoys foil fencing, playing the cello, reading science fiction novels, and immersing himself in video games. In school, his favorite subjects are math, social studies, and of course recess.
Patrick was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2009, just a few days after his seventh birthday. He has endured multiple medical tests and drug therapies. While full remission remains elusive, Patrick continues to convey courage, strength, optimism and a wonderful sense of humor in all that he must face. He compares his battle with Crohn's disease to a fencing duel: sometimes you can escape an attack, sometimes you push your offender back, and sometimes your opponent overpowers you. When he is feeling overpowered by this terrible disease, CCFA helps provide Patrick with hope that someday soon he will conquer this opponent forever.
Patrick is thrilled to be an Honoree for the National Team! He looks forward to being a great motivator and plans to run a few miles on his own in honor of the team.