Marathon #56 – 26.2 for Amanda
Back in 2009 Barack Obama was sworn in as President, Google launched Chrome, Uber was founded, and on August 13 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. After experiencing symptoms for over a year, I was handed a life-changing plot twist right before beginning my junior year of college. As most rising juniors were fantasizing about the exciting school year ahead, I was enduring countless office visits, blood tests, MRI’s, CT scans, and endoscopic procedures. After waking up after a sigmoidoscopy, my gastroenterologist put the final pieces of the puzzle together and said, “you have Crohn’s disease”. As horrifying as a chronic illness diagnosis might seem, I was glad to finally have answers and a path forward to treat the disease. I came to find out months later that if another week had gone by without answers, my parents were not going to let me return to school because I was so sick.
As I am not one to take anything in stride, I began volunteering for the New England Chapter in 2010 when I participated in Take Steps Boston. Little did I know that this was my introduction to the IBD community that I would become so deeply tied to. Fast forward to learning about the Chapter’s Young Professionals’ Committee. As I was becoming all too familiar the ABC’s of IBD (you know, autoimmune, bowel movement, complete blood counts, diarrhea…etc…) I was also finding my tribe. Being the extrovert that I am, I quickly made new friends who had also had their first colonoscopy before most of their adult family members! We bonded quickly over our IBD victories and challenges, and I grew comfy in my unique community of empathizers.
Over the past 9 years on this Committee, I have not only discovered my passion for silent auctions but have also ultimately found my calling and have turned my love for fundraising into a career. After becoming more and more involved with planning the Committee’s annual summer fundraising event over the years, I was nominated to serve as Vice President. As I spent several years learning and growing in that role, I was nominated to serve as President and I excitedly accepted the role in January 2022. As I lead this remarkable group of emerging leaders, my mission has remained the same — to ensure that there isn’t a single IBD patient, caregiver, or ally out there who feels like they have to go it alone. We are a community of resilient, powerful, passionate people who continue to show up not only for ourselves, but for each other no matter what. There is power in numbers.
August 11, 2022 – Stories from the Gut: Block Party (Young Professional’s Committee first event since the pandemic and Amanda’s first event as their President)
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is an organization that is near and dear to my colon, and this is a BIG YEAR for the Foundation, the Young Professional’s Committee, and me! On Thursday, August 11, 2022, over 250 young professionals and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation supporters came together at Night Shift Brewing for our 10th annual summer event! After 1,148 days apart, we are thrilled to be able to come together in person once again to celebrate resiliency, community, and strength.
This is my first year serving as President of the Young Professional’s Committee and I could not be more proud to be leading this driven community of emerging leaders. Ever since I became involved with this group back in February 2014, I have been blown away by the commitment and passion I see at every meeting. I was thrilled to be able to celebrate the Committee’s TENTH summer event with my entire IBD family (and real family!).
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation New England Chapter Young Professionals Committee cannot thank you enough for your support at Stories from the Gut: Block Party on August 11, 2022! Together we raised over $95,000 to invest in research, provide support services, and offer education in the lives of people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Marathon 56 – Recap