Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Meet Darian Sinclair! Team Challenge Honored Hero!

As I have been raising funds for Team Challenge, I have had the opportunity to meet so many inspirational people, who are having a lot tougher time than I am. I have not met Darian Sinclair in person, but his story is one reason I am running the Chicago Marathon this year. I think you will love his story too!

Meet Darian Sinclair, Team Challenge Honored Hero!

"Being diagnosed for me at first was very challenging. Freshman year in High school I started to notice that I was going to the restroom frequently and was losing weight fairly quickly. I never thought anything of it because I was on the wrestling team, and its high school the food is not that great HaHa. I had been super weak for the past couple of weeks leading up to wrestling practice, and during practice while weight training my body pretty much gave out on me and I had to leave practice a little early. Later on that night after passing a massive amount of blood and being in pain and a fever I found myself in the hospital. Needless to say I was sent to Egleston Hospital where, after a pick line, tube, different test and a long time spent in the hospital I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Once I was released from the hospital I went to back to school, my somehow word got around the school that I had a brain tumor and that's why I was gone for so long.

    I was able to catch up on all of the work I had missed and although I still had pains and frequent visits to the restroom everything seemed to be fine. Sophomore and junior year were practically symptom free. I was placed on an infusion medication which seemed to be working changed my diet and I could no longer do the sports that I once participated in but I managed to find other things like FFA to fill the void. Senior year came along prime time of your high school career, and well for me it was all downhill. My symptoms came back full force and going to the restroom 30 or 40 times a day plus trying balance school and frequently going to the hospital and doctors visits it seemed like there was no end to this monster called Crohn's. I started my high school career at around 200lbs and by the end of my senior year I was at 165lbs. My doctor up the dosage of my medication and off I went to college three and a half hours away from family, doctors and any since of normality.

    My college career was tough, people not understanding what was really wrong with you constantly missing classes and feeling horrible just about every day, all the while doing my best to keep a smile on my face, and trying my best to keep my grades up and have some kind of social life while in school. With all the stress of my disease and school depression set in for every time I turned around it did not seem like there was any hope of an escape or relief. My doctor switched me over to another medication and I thought that things would start to get better... boy was I wrong. My 3 year in school technically second for I had to take a year off. I took yet another rollercoaster ride downhill. My body started to almost deteriorate before my eyes. Symptoms worsened, hospital visits increased, and after a couple of blood transfusions and minor surgeries I set out to complete the semester. Only to withdraw  for medical reasons again. I came home at 120lbs weak, stressed and tired of just everything going on in life and the constant reminder that this is my life and the "struggle is real" somehow I still managed to keep a smile of my face hiding the pain inside. All the while telling myself  there are people out there who have it worse than I do.

    My doctor put me back on the first drug at a higher dosage and more frequently and things started to get better. I worked at a camp during the summers and I ran my first road race ever (Peachtree) with some staff from camp. My time was super slow and my body was done afterwards. But I thought back to the fact of people like me who could not run and with that thought in mind after not deleting emails and finally opening I joined CCFA about a year later and set out to run for a cause. Unfortunately due to yet again health issues I was not able to go to NOLA, but I did not let that hold me back. This year my doctor put me on another medication, although I still have frequent problems flare ups and pains, I have come a long way. I ran my first race with Team Challenge in New Orleans in February and it was an amazing experience and lifted a huge weight off of my chest. I am super thankful to have gotten involved with such an amazing organization and gotten to know such amazing people. I continue to fight my disease on a daily basis, trying to work a regular job is a hassle, and then trying to have a social life on top of that just seems impossible.

   I however do not allow my disease to define who I am, I instead try and use it as an instrument to not only inspire people but also bring hope to those who feel like there is no hope. I am thankful for CCFA and everyone in it. I continue to turn my circumstances to something positive and not allow it to define who I am."

(Crohn's "Constant Reminder of How Not to Submit")

Darian Sinclair

You can help me raise funds to help find a cure for people like Darian by clicking HERE! No amount is too small, but I will send you one of three cool marathon pin packs (Chicago, Boston or New York) for a tax deductible donation of $20 or more! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Help Find A Cure And Look Cool Running Around NYC!

Celebrate getting into NYC, help find a cure, and look cool!

Any donation of $20 to my Team Challenge fundraising will get a set (you can choose Boston or Chicago if you like those). Donate here: TEAM CHALLENGE

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The COOL Kid's Donate To Team Challenge!

1" buttons are cool! Donate $25 or more to my Team Challenge fundraising and I will send you the 3-pack! (Choose between the man and woman pin). A $30 or more donation will get you all 4!

Choose between Chicago or Boston sets!

For those not from Chicago, LSD = Lake Shore Drive! LOL!
Click HERE to donate!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Come Potty With Me In Chicago! Opps! I Mean Run With Me! Sorry, Did I Say Runs? I Meant...Oh Never mind. Just Donate Please!

parks and recreation money mona lisa jenny slate money please

One of my New Year's resolutions is to do more service for others. Running the Chicago Marathon will not be a new experience for me, but fundraising for charity is! 

I could have picked from lots of charities to raise money for, so why did I choose to run for Team Challenge? As a runner, potty talk is a part of normal conversation. We usually joke about the discomfort of having to use the bathroom when no bathroom is in sight or not making it to a bathroom in time!
During a marathon, you will see at least one spectator holdong a sign that reads "DON'T POOP YOUR PANTS!" To the 1.6 million Americans living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, this is no laughing matter. The pain, the discomfort, the "accidents", and surgeries are real life. Everyday.

Help me fight the stigma, raise awareness and funds to find a cure!

You can donate HERE!


Angie 💓

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. And His Legacy Of Love.

When I was in 5th grade I had to do a report on someone I admired. I chose Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I remember taking a shoe box and making a pretty good diorama of the outside of room 306 of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated. Looking back now, I don't know why I chose that scene, but I do know that from an early age, my siblings and I were taught that Dr. King was a great man and someone to be admired and I have looked to his teachings in times of anger, hurt, and injustice as a way to find a better way to cope with things that feel unfair.

In the past few weeks I have had to really remember those teachings and try to cling to the message of love he shared with us all. When we feel betrayed, wronged or wounded, it is easier to hate than to love. It can feel impossible to "turn the other cheek" and "love thy neighbor" when you really want to give them a nice punch to the throat, but Dr. King has shown us that it can be done, we just need to have the courage to do it.

Today as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., let's all try to show love, kindness and compassion to all people, even those we struggle with. disagree with or have bad feelings towards. Remember what Dr. King said: "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."

Friday, January 13, 2017

I Can't Get Motivated Y'all! HELP!

Listen, we all get down in the dumps once in a while and have to have a pity party now and then, but this is different. If you suffer from depression, PTSD, Trauma or other mental health issues, getting motivated to just go to work or do simple household things can seem overwhelming let alone getting the motivation to run?

The worst part is, while there has been great strides taken in eliminating the stigma for mental health issues, there is still a HUGE stigma surrounding it and what triggers one person to implode, may seem silly or insignificant to someone not suffering. The same trigger can cause unbearable grief and in extreme cases suicide in others.

As some of you may know I suffered a tremendous loss when Bart left me suddenly (him having a new girlfriend within 72 hours sent me into a VERY dark place). I have had a very hard time, not only emotionally (because I loved him so much), but physically, and though we are trying to remain friends, I am still having a hard time letting go of the pain and anger and I have just not felt like running.

I think it is a mental thing as a lot of my running in the last year centered around Bart and I, and while I have wonderful memories with him, right now running just makes me miss him more and I get REALLY sad. Telling me "it's his loss" or "get over it" is not what works. Believe me, I wouldn't wish my pain on anyone right now. If I could get over it that easily, I would.

Running was once something that saved me from getting depressed and sadness at times, motivated me to to work hard to achieve my goals, but this has taken a serious toll. I have not run more than 5 miles since we split up.

I NEED to get motivated. I NEED something to get me out the door in the cold, snowy weather. One thing I have to look forward to is the Boston Marathon in April. The other is the Yeti 100 in September. Both of these will require some training if I want to do well, so getting motivated to run is key here. 

sad depressed peanuts lucy
How I have felt about running lately.

Luckily, I haven't just been sitting on the couch eating Bon Bons. I have been going to the gym every day and recently started taking Yoga classes at work.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, sky, twilight, outdoor, water and nature
Taking Yoga is not only helping with my strength and flexibility, but helping me quiet my mind. 

My peach of a friend Robert Merriman sold me a like new treadmill for $50! I have run on it a few times, but 3 miles is about my limit on a treadmill.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, indoor
Posing on my new treadmill!

So, I am in a pickle. God let Spring get here fast! I need to get my mojo back! If you all have any suggestions, please share them. I NEED help!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!

What an emotional year 2016 has been for almost everyone. Whether it's been the Presidential election, the many shocking celebrity deaths, or any personal issues that have made us sad (or happy), it is safe to say 2016 has been crazy!

what crazy parks and recreation confused amy poehler

I have been trying to write my 2016 year in review for the past week. Most of 2016 was the best year of my life, full of the most wonderful memories. So wonderful in fact, I am having a difficult time reliving them without completely falling apart. Running has always been therapeutic for me, but right now there is a lot of pain connected with it. I hope with a little time, I can get excited about it again.

So instead of a 2016 year in review, the best I can do is to wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR.

happy new year

In 2017, let's look forward!  I have a lot great running, friendships and fun to look forward too!