On New Year’s Eve 2008, I underwent a colonoscopy with biopsies and was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Ulcerative Colitis. I had been suffering with symptoms since 2005 but had been too embarrassed about and therefore dismissive of the agonising pain whenever I ate. The large quantities of blood forced me to seek help.nnThe weight dropped off and dropped off; I look back at my wedding day photos and see just how my illness had consumed me. 8 years of treatment: anti-inflammatory drugs, enemas and foams up to 4 times a day; steroids, chemotherapy, biological infusions, self injections, gave me 8 years of empty promises and allergic reactions from bubbling skin on my hands to paralysis below my waist; from kidney failure to hair loss and nightmares. Tests showed I was deficient in everything and my body stopped absorbing nutrients from food.nnIf I planned to take my daughter on an outing or if it was a work day then I fasted from 6pm the night before to make sure I was relatively pain free and able to leave a bathroom. I got to the point where I never ate or drank (even water) until after noon. My diet reduced and reduced until I survived on toast, jacket potatoes, hula hoops, babybel, avocados and water. My skin changed colour in places; my hair became dull; my cancer risk rose and rose and I was told I’d have regular scopes because I wouldn’t notice the symptoms if cancer developed.nnLiving in constant pain with humiliating symptoms became too much. Holidays were anxiety fests as I tried to have fun whilst either fasting or running toilet to toilet. As scared as I was, I chose life. Together with my amazing surgeon, I decided enough was enough and on 26th September 2016, I underwent a 7 1/2 hour radical surgery to remove the disease from my body for good with a panproctocolectomy and end ileostomy. nnMy ileostomy is for life, affectionally named ‘Summer’ in our house she sometimes behaves and sometimes decides to make life really difficult. Leaks, skin burns, explosions and blocks have all been overcome and yet I do not regret my decision for one minute. There is no doubt that ‘Summer’ gave me my life back.nnIBD didn’t stop it’s impact on my life there. A DEXA scan in 2019 diagnosed osteopenia showing loss of mass in bones in my spine and pelvis. Those years of malnutrition and steroids had certainly taken their toll on my body. My consultant said the best treatment was to run! So here I am.nnThis charity gives those like me as well as friends with IBD and IBS and even a friend in remission from bowel cancer, hope. Hope for earlier diagnosis; hope for new drugs; hope for understanding why these diseases manifest and even hope for a cure. Hopefully, I can also raise awareness and challenge the stigma attached to seeking early help.nI worked with the #Auguts campaign in 2022 to create this content - nPlease, spare what you can and know you have my heartfelt thanks. nnnnnDonating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
More information about this event
Name: Easter 50 Ultra Challenge 2024
Date: 6th April 2024
Fundraising target: £500