Yesterday was Take Steps 2016, the Annual Fundraiser Walk of the CCFA. It was my second one, last year I had been disappointed by some things, but overall, I was happy for the experience.
Oh man, over one year!
Where was it? It’s in Oaks Park, a little Minigolf/Amuesement Park in SE Portland, by the Willamette. I still think that the location is not ideal when it comes to visibility, but, I can see its advantages- Size, access to bathrooms, a walk that is easy to do for everybody.
The Program: Each year, there are two guest speakers, the “honored heroes.” I am uneasy with that word, but I like it ten million times better than “warrior” (but that’s a blog post for another day). This year, it was an eight year old boy, and Brad, a business consultant. They both were hopeful, kind and their speeches were moving. There were A LOT of families there, and a lot of lightheartedness.
The teams wore a lot of cool t-shirts, some with semi-colons on it (for those with j-pouches and stomas), one girl wore a t-shirt that said “I pooped.” We ran into Marc, who regularly organizes the local CCFA support group (check it out), and on occasion blogs here, his girlfriend and another group member Tobey, and her sweet little son, and walked with them. The weather was… it was Portland. It was grey, and in the sixties, but at least it only drizzled. You take what you can get. The sponsors were as last year, AbbVie, UCB, and Dairy Queen. I am still upset that places like Whole Foods and New Seasons don’t participate. Shame on you. We had a good walk, but I didn’t stay for socializing. One, because my pooch was home alone, and two, because these events always drain me emotionally.
It is one thing to have Crohn’s yourself, and in time, I have learned to see it somewhat as a blessing that I got it when I was so young. I never knew any different, and never had to go through the whole life-disruption, and the following adjustment period that so many patients describe. And yet, when I saw the brochures for Camp Oasis, something tugged at me, and I was wondering whether I had been the aloof, weird teenager that I was, had there been socialization places for kids with IBD back then. I loved seeing so many people with IBD, it made me feel connected and less alone, but it made me sad that there are so many of us! I was moved by the love and support of all the family members and friends, but hated the cause. I thought of all the things that I pushed my body through, and felt pride, but also fatigue.
I am still glad I went, and I hope that despite the weather, money was raised!