Marathon #59 – 26.2 for Ben


Ben’s Story:

I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 22 years old. I was spending a semester abroad in Chile when I began having stomach trouble, and lost almost 40 pounds over the fall semester. A visit to the gastroenterologist after I returned home confirmed right away that I had Crohn’s, and I began several years of trial and error to find the best medication for me, which has currently led me to Stelara. I haven’t had any major flares in the last few years, but I do still experience discomfort and go through periods where I don’t feel as well as I like to. I (try to) remember to watch what I eat and do what I can to make sure my gut stays happy. I have a great relationship with my gastroenterologist (who’s also a friend), and joke that my yearly colonoscopy is the best nap I have all year.

It was especially disappointing when I was first diagnosed to not be able to be as active as I was used to being. I enjoyed going to the gym and playing intramural sports in college, but when you’re sick to your stomach with no energy, that’s the last thing you feel like doing. However, after my health stabilized, I somehow took up running. I used to hate running – it was the worst part of being on the wrestling team in high school. Nevertheless, I’ve run numerous races over the last several years, and crossed a goal off of my Bucket List last year when I ran the NYC Marathon in November – my first full marathon! I did it not only as a fitness goal but also as an affirmation of my (more or less) good health and ownership of my body, and raised over $3,500 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. This year I’ll be running the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) Distance Medley, which includes a 5K, 10K, and half marathon. My ultimate goal is to one day run the Boston Marathon as a tribute to both my health and my love for this city where I’ve made my home.

Marathon #59 – Recap

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