The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America is a non-profit organization that is volunteer driven and over the past five years has raised $40 million to help further research, support patient programs and educate the public on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
More than 1.4 million people in the U.S. suffer from digestive diseases, which is one out of every 200 people. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis often occur between the ages of 15 and 30 and is more commonly found in Ashkenazic Jewish or Caucasian people. There is no medical cure for the disease and costs more than $1.7 billion in health care expenses, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CCFA puts on the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis – their biggest fundraising event every year. Participants work hard all year to raise funds and then come together to encourage, support and celebrate their efforts. At different times throughout the year, the foundation hosts the walk in every state.
Tucson will be hosting the walk on Oct. 12 at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park. This is the fourth year Tucson has hosted the event and it is the largest fundraising event for the state of Arizona. The event will include a walk that is less than a mile long, speakers, awards, food and kids activities. Last year, the walk raised more than $17,000 and included 125 participants.
“This year we are hoping to raise over $20,000,” said Megan Livengood, walk coordinator. “The funds go to more research and help support kids who we send to a camp in Colorado. It’s a week long and serves pediatric patients with IBD.”
Those helping at the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis walk encourage people to be a part of the event as each participants fundraising helps the chances of finding a cure for the disease.