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.
Hi, my name is Max Goetz. I’m currently a sophomore at Kings High School. In December of my 7th grade year, I began having bathroom issues and had a lot of stomach pain that wouldn’t go away. Along with the excruciating pain, I went from 100 lbs down to 85 lbs. After a few visits with my pediatrician, he sent me for some lab work to try to figure out the source of my pain. A few of the tests came back with abnormal results and since my Dad and Uncle both have Crohn’s Disease, I was sent to see a gastroenterologist at Cincinnati Children’s for further testing. On February 23rd, 2010, I had my first colonoscopy – a not so pleasant experience- and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
The first few months were really tough. I was immediately put on Prednisone and Pentasa. Prednisone made me a human Michelin man. I remember sitting at lunch one day and someone asking ‘how did you get so fat?’ and when I told him I was on steroids he questioned why I wasn’t getting muscles. I went from 85 lbs to 125 lbs over those several months. I also missed a lot of school in 7th and 8th grade while they figured out the right medications to get my Crohn’s under control. It was hard because I didn’t know how to answer people who asked why I missed so much school. I was really embarrassed to talk about my Crohn’s during those first two years.
Throughout all of this mess, I still managed to participate in the two sports I play, which was really important to me. I ran cross country and played lacrosse, and still do today. Even if I couldn’t participate because of not feeling well, I still tried to be at all the practices and make life as normal as possible. Sometime along the way, I learned about Team Challenge and asked my Mom if she would train and run it with me to raise money for Crohn’s. In December 2012, two years after I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, I ran the Las Vegas Half Marathon alongside my Mom. It was the best experience of my life. I met so many amazing people that were raising money for research of my disease, even when they did not even have it themselves. The support I got from my friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches and even people I had never met but heard what I was doing, was incredible. I can now openly speak about my disease and hopefully help others who are going through the same thing. I also hope to run another half marathon with Team Challenge in the future.
Thank you for doing what you are doing for Crohn’s and Colitis. Go Team Challenge!
For more inspiring stories, see those of our past honorees.
Ella Corbitt - Summer 2013