Brigitte Young, a Seattle Resident, is the 2013 Honored Hero of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation's Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis walk. Take Steps is the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's national walk program to raise money for critical research and awareness about these painful and unpredictable digestive diseases.
Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive track, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, weight loss and fatigue. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. One in 200 people suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.
Each year, as part of the Take Steps walk program, a participant is chosen in the local area to serve as the Honored Hero and spokesperson for the walk. Brigitte Young is a great inspiration to the Crohn's & colitis community. Brigitte recently celebrated her 9th birthday with a roller-skating party and slumber party, but two years ago, however, Brigitte's 7th birthday party was anything but happy. While her friends danced, giggled and ate cupcakes, Brigitte spent most of that time in a bathroom with painful cramps and bloody diarrhea.
The results of her colonoscopy revealed that Brigitte had ulcerative colitis (UC). Shortly thereafter, Brigitte was hospitalized with severe UC symptoms. Prior to Brigitte's diagnosis with UC, her family was blissfully unaware of Crohn's and colitis diseases (collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease - IBD) and unaware of the suffering endured by an estimated 1.4 million Americans.
Her family's struggle to understand all there is know about UC and how to help their little girl, led them to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). Ultimately, they could hope for nothing better than a cure for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. To that end, supporting an organization such as CCFA that is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research that focuses on finding the cures for Crohn's and UC is essential. Brigitte is so excited to be the Honored Hero for Take Steps Western Washington this year, so she can help make a big impact and support others as we take steps toward a cure!
For Brigitte, who is first and foremost an active little girl, she loves to dance, sing, and be silly with her friends.
You can join Brigitte, her family, and more than 1500 walkers for the Crohn's and Colitis Take Steps Walk, the nation's largest walk dedicated to finding a cure for disgestive diseases on Saturday, June 1st, 2013 at Magnuson Park.
Join her at www.cctakesteps.org/westernwashington
Watch the debut of Brigitte Young here!