Local patients suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and their families and friends raised nearly $40,000 at the recent Take Steps Community Walk for the Las Vegas chapter of the nonprofit Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation at the Mountain’s Edge Master Planned Community‘s Exploration Park.
In addition, 17-year-old Avery Link was recognized as the 2017 Take Steps Honored Hero for her continuous effort to generate awareness and educate others about inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and where to get help by sharing her personal experience battling Crohn’s disease.
During the event, participants walked around the park and enjoyed live music, refreshments, kid’s entertainment, raffle prizes, booths, information, park activities, and more. The event was possible through the support from AbbVie, City National Bank, Dignity Health- St. Rose Dominican, Mountain’s Edge, Takeda and UnitedHealth Care.
Though she didn’t know it, Link has battled Crohn’s disease since she was 2 years old. She suffered from high fevers until the age of 5 and later abdominal pains resulting in emergency room visits. Her parents continued to search for answers about her ailments, but it wasn’t until Link began high school that a colonoscopy revealed Crohn’s disease when she was hospitalized for severe abdominal pain and possible appendicitis. Medication, injections and a strict diet now help her keep flare-ups at bay. Today, her goal is to attend college and become a gastroenterologist to help other like her.
Collectively, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are often referred to as ‘silent diseases’ because many sufferers are embarrassed to talk about their condition. In addition to fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue, IBD symptoms also can include an urgent need to use the bathroom, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, rectal bleeding, and constipation.
Funds raised by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation are dedicated to critical research efforts; educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public; and supportive services to improve the quality of life for children and adults afflicted with IBD . For more information, visit www.ccfa.org, call 888-694-8872 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.