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.
I am SO excited to be your Honored Hero. My name is Liam, and I am 9 years old.
I am a very gregarious and quite boisterous young man. I currently have aspirations to be a Rock Star!! My favorite color is purple. I love music, dance, Lego's and Wii. Most who meet me now, would never know that I have a disease or of my past struggles.
I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in January 2010, after many tests, a possibility that I had Leukemia, and years of trying to figure out what was wrong with me. The past 3 years were pretty hard for me. I had to repeat 1st grade and I was hospitalized for almost five weeks last year with a really horrible flair up.
I was about 3 yrs. old when my mom started to notice that something was just “not right” with my digestive system. I would get horrible stomach aches, headaches and diarrhea with lots of acid, sometimes the acid was so bad that my bum would burn. About the time that I turned 5, it was getting really bad. I was going to the bathroom up to 13 times a day, with lots of blood. The urgency was often so bad, that I just couldn’t make it to the bathroom quickly enough. I had lots of accidents and I learned (became a pro) to go on the side of the road. Kids were really mean and some adults too, whenever I had an accident. Calling me poopie-pants and stinky. I was often sad and had a hard time making friends. I became very thin and anemic from all the bathroom trips and blood loss. But, still no reason for it…. When my mom took me to see my GI doctor, and we finally had some answers. Whew! We were glad to have a name to all my problems. I was put on Remicaid, Steroids and some other maintenance drugs that started to make me feel better. My body rejected Remicaid about 6 months after I was on it and I started to get sick again…back in the hospital I went. I got really sick and had to have a PIC line. We decided to try Humeria. Ouch!! This one hurt a lot and I had trouble not crying when the nurses would give it to me. Again, my body decided to not like the medicine I was being given. Hospital here I come. I had to stay this time for almost 5 weeks!! I got another PIC line and they decided to try Remicaid again. Gulp! I sure hope it works this time… Luckily, this time it worked!! I have infusements every 4 weeks and have been getting to experience remission for 1 yr. now.
We were first introduced to CCFA through my Auntie Jen and her friend (now mine too) Emily. We signed up to do a walk around the zoo with people that either had my disease or knew what I was going through. Now for a team name…I got it!! Liam’s Leaky Cheeks. We have done the walk three years in a row. My mom also heard of this cool camp, Camp Oasis that I could go to for a week with kids just like me!! Huh?! You mean that other kids have this disease too? I was happy to know that I wasn’t the only one. The first year for camp I was too young and the second year I was too sick. But, I was finally able to experience awesomeness at Camp Oasis in 2012. I loved making new friends and getting to rock climb, ride horses, archery and to win a dance contest. This summer my mom heard of Team Challenge and immediately wanted to join. This was another way for her to raise money and get the word out about my disease… and, she got to go to Vegas. This was my mom’s first half marathon, 13.1 miles. My mom is pretty awesome. I like her medal. She helped to raise tons of money to help send kids to camp, keep research going and to assist people who may not have the money to get the medicine that they need.
Hello! I'm Lexi and I'm 11 years old. I love Justin Bieber, I'm a math whiz, and I have a new passion - Team Challenge! You see, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in Dec 2010 after about a year of struggling with bleeding, exhaustion, being trapped in the bathroom, joint pain, and stomach pain. My doctor initially thought I was just constipated and put me on more Miralax, mineral oil, and exlax than ANYONE could ever need! When my bleeding got worse, I finally got sent to a GI doc who told me I needed a colonoscopy about 2 weeks before Christmas, and I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Since then, I've been on Remicade infusions, methotrexate, Colazal, Cimzia, and many many other meds that have not worked to calm the inflammation. I've had 4-5 colonoscopies, 3 endoscopes, 3 pill cam procedures, and 5 hospitalizations in the last 8 weeks (Im actually writing this FROM the hospital) and I haven't been able to attend school since mid-November because I've been too sick. They have changed my diagnosis recently to rectal Crohn’s with "significant perianal disease", and I'm now taking Humira which are SUPER painful injections that make me so scared! We are currently waiting to be referred to Children's hospital of Philadelphia so that they can find out why I'm bleeding so much and passing out. I'm so frustrated with my disease, but ever since my mom did the Las Vegas half marathon in Dec 2011 with Team Challenge, I have HOPE that we will find a CURE so that one day I won’t have to deal with scary needles! I've even gotten to go to Camp Oasis, a camp provided through the CCFA for kids with IBD, two summers in a row!!! Our Team Challenge teammates have become my adopted aunts and uncles, and our whole family has been SO supported by the coaches and teammates (people have even come to the hospital to visit me and bring me yummy truffles for when I'm feeling better!). Please join Team Challenge and help raise funds so that we can continue researching a cure and sending kids like me to camp where we can talk with other kids who struggle to stay in remission like me!!