What is an Honoree?
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.
Honored Hero Katie
Katie was diagnosed at 15 years old after several tests. She went through many different medications until she found one that worked. However, due to side effects from the drug, she contracted Tuberculosis at 21, fighting for her life and undergoing surgery to correct a collapsed lung. This left her in the hospital for two weeks and isolation for two months. It is an ‘experience’ you should never have to go through.
Throughout everything, her mother has been her biggest support. She has been through it all with Katie, being her advocate when talking to doctors to make sure she is on the road to getting better.
Crohn’s Disease has made her realize that you have to pay attention to your body including the food you eat and getting enough sleep so you don’t get worn down. You have to know when things are wrong and call your doctor. This disease is a part of who you are, and you should not be ashamed of that part! Katie has done her best to keep her disease under control, but due to scar tissue it is still a daily struggle.
Team Challenge has become a huge part of Katie’s life. She has participated in four events, Kona ’09, Vegas ’11, Vegas ’12 and Chicago ‘13. “I love Team Challenge! Being your honored hero is extremely humbling and it means the world to me to have grown such a support group. It has motivated me to find a great passion in my life (exercise), and obviously the cause is very important to me. I am so touched by what this organization does and SO honored to be the hero! I will be there every step of the way, proud of your hard work and dedication! Together we can help to find a cure!”