Mentors & Honorees
Meet Honoted Hero Mia!! Mia has always been full of spirit and love and in May of 2013 at 8 years old we realized there was a problem. She was lethargic, very thin, not eating and was complaining of stomach pains. She missed the last day of 2nd grade and was diagnosed after several long weeks and many tests by an amazing doctor in our area with Chron's Disease. Mia wore a size 4T when she was doagnosed at 8 years old. In just one year she has come so far and is growing and now 9 years old and wearing a normal size 8. I am her mom, Dunree and have lived with Crohn's most of my life. My father had it and died from complications of the disease, his lower immune system played a large role in the end. It's been in our family for years, two of my siblings also have the disease. We also have another daughter, Ella who is 11 years old and we pray daily she does not end up with the same diagnosis that Mia has.Mia is a fighter and was strong while we were so frightened on the inside. Through difficult test after test and the many blood draws she was strong. Her sister, Ella and her family and friends were so supportive!
She got to meet younger people for the first time who lived with the disease as well through our experience with Team Challenge. She was scared but when we finally got the diagnosis from our doctor that she had Chron's, we knew it was time to fight the fight and get her feeling better again. Our amazing Pediatric GI specialist took his time with us and told us about all of our options knowing we had done this before for myself. I believe it was more challenging for him because I had my experiences good and bad already in place. He was honest and very helpful and decided to put her on a regimen of steroids right away, we then followed it up with Imuran. We follow very strict guidelines with regards to our diet and believe that diet plays a big role in how bad the symptoms can be. We keep food journals and logs to track Mia's diet, growth and progress. So far we have been blessed and her treatment has been successful, we pray daily that she stays healthy. My husband Tim and I along with other dear friends participated in Team Challenge in 2013, is Las Vegas and raised a large amount of money to help bring awareness to the disease and hopefully find a cure. Mia along with her sister Ella played an active role as we trained for the half marathon and helped raise money by having snow cone sales, a silent auction party, a craft day and many other pleas for help. They helped spread the word about the disease and worked hard to help us raise funds. It's amazing how willing family and friends and co-workers are willing to donate when they know you are directly affected by a disease. We heard from many people that either had a family member or friend who also suffers from Crohn's. We will not sit back and let this disease define our family, instead we will continue to fight for a cure and we will continue to participate with CCFA and Team Challenge in hopes that one day Mia along with so many others will be able to say they are cured.
I joined Team Challenge after my wife, Kim, was diagnosed with severe Crohn's in July 2011. Since then, I have completed 6 half marathons benefitting CCFA. This will be my 6th season with Team Challenge and my fifth as a Mentor. In the last 36 months, I have learned there are many people in my life that suffer from some form of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) or have a family member or friend that suffers from an IBD. It is difficult to express in words the sense of accomplishment, and camaraderie, you will experience the first time you complete an endurance event. I am proud to represent Team Challenge and the CCFA
Meet Mentor Jaclyn! Hello! I am Jaclyn Huxford and I am very excited to a part of the North Texas Team Challenge group once again for the winter season. I am happily married to my best friend and my inspiration, my husband Brandon Huxford. Brandon was diagnosed 2 years ago with Ulcerative colitis and although he suffers from this debilitating disease, it most often goes unnoticed. He continues to defy and unset any limits this disease has set. Through the years we have always been an active couple and sometimes competitive, trust me he still finds a way to out run or out lift me in the weight room every day. We are looking forward to this season and being able to share our running and nutrition knowledge (by the way I am clinical nutritionist) with all of you. Go Team Challenge!
Meet Mentor Margaret: I joined Northern California Team Challenge in 2009 and completed 1/2 marathons in Kona & Vegas. After this experience I was quoted as saying "the best thing I have ever done was joining team challenge". I moved to the Dallas area end of 2013 and looked to see if there was a Dallas chapter for TC and quickly joined. I completed the Napa 1/2 marathon in 2014! Please quote me now as saying "the 2nd best thing I have ever done was joining TC North Texas!!! The people here are awesome as well as my experience!
Meet Mentor Roma! I was born and raised in Ft. Worth, TX. This will be my 3rd season to fund raise and train with Team Challenge. Glad to have you join us as we start the 2014 Fall/Winter Season. This is how I got here! Many years ago the CCFA booth at a Dallas Convention Center Health Expo caught my attention. Since I had been diagnosed at the age of 16 with ulcerative colitis this was the first time to ever see they had an AWARENESS CLUB for IBD. I signed up to receive more information and made a small donation for a GOT GUTS wrist ID. My life got busy. Year after year I threw away the CCFA brochures that kept coming in the mail until March 2012...then something hit me...an overwhelming feeling that it was time to give back and share my story of a mother's prayer, hope and remission. It's been a long road from the age of 16 to 60. I thank God, my old and new Team Challenge teammates, family and friends for their continued support as I make it to the finish line at the 2014 Metro PCS Dallas Half Marathon. Again, so glad to have you join me as I come full circle around the Dallas Convention Center from where I got started. Thanks TC for bringing this home to Big D!