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 doctor’s 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")
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!