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.
Alexa’s Story – As told by her mother, Jenna
Alexa is 9 years old. She loves horses, swimming, dancing, riding 4 wheelers and playing with her cousins. She is an excellent big sister. She is very caring and nurturing with her 3 year old sister. Her favorite subject in school is math. She is on the DW Dolphins Swim Team in the summer and loves to ride her horse Blue Drifter. Riding and caring for her horse is one of her most favorite things to do. She loves hanging out at the barn even if she isn’t riding.
I remember one morning Alexa was calling for me from the bathroom. She said mommy come look at this. I didn’t understand why I was seeing blood in the toilet. We went to the pediatrician’s office and Nurse Amy suspected some things and shared them with me. For some reason, the word “colitis” stuck in my head. She sent us right away for testing. While we were waiting for test results, Alexa continued to go the bathroom frequently and have belly pain.
I remember we were in the bathroom at Mimi’s house for her early birthday party. She asked me “why can’t I be normal like the other kids”? I had no good answer for her. I had no answer at all. I think she knew then that she wasn’t going to be the same. Lex just has a special gift of holding strong and persevering through tough times. She continually smiled no matter what the situation, just like her Nana.
After about a month and a half of testing and waiting to see the GI doctor, they sent her to get an endoscopy & colonoscopy. Waiting to get test results, waiting to the GI doctor, waiting to see what medication is going to work. Testing and waiting, I’m sure you all can understand “the waiting” game. Finally we got a date for the scope, it was 2 days before her 7th birthday. November 2, 2011 was when we found out she had Ulcerative Colitis. Through all of this Alexa was so brave, always smiling and never complaining really – I don’t know how she did it! They first had her on Colazal, and then about a year later another scope. Prednisone - what a double edged sword that is! Then they added 6MP. Then, just last week (July 2014) she had another scope. The 6MP wasn’t working at all. So now she is trying the Cortifoam for 2 months along with the Colazal. We will wait and see if that works.
Alexa is doing well overall. I hear so many horrible stories and I hope for a cure for everyone that deals with these nasty diseases. Through all of this her doctor’s and Nurse Julie have been amazing. We are blessed to have them by our side. Lex is amazing…and my hero!
I feel if it wasn’t for TEAM CHALLENGE I would have been lost through this journey. I met so many awesome people that understood me and my daughter. By joining Team Challenge I was able to not only tell Alexa how much I love and care about her (and about finding a cure) but I was able to show her. Mommy was running…and Mommy doesn’t run unless someone is chasing her! I thought if she could fight through all of this and smile, I could run 13.1 miles and smile! Thanks to all of you and what you are contributing to this cause! There are not enough words to express our gratitude. Keep being AMAZING! GO TEAM CHALLENGE
For more inspiring stories, see those of our past honorees.
Max Goetz - Summer 2014
Ella Corbitt - Summer 2013