Marathon #23 – 26.2 for Nicole
In the summer of 1993, at just 13 years old, I started having severe abdominal pain. That pain got worse, resulting in vomiting and weight loss causing my already tiny frame to become frail and weak. At the time, Crohn’s wasn’t as prevalent, so many of my doctor’s appointments resulted in questions that insinuated an eating disorder. After months of doctor’s appointments and tests, I saw a pediatric gastroenterologist in October who suggested surgery to remove a blockage. It wasn’t until after surgery that they diagnosed it as “Crohn’s Disease.”
My second flare caused me to be sick at my senior prom, miss my senior banquet and many other teenage milestones. In college I was forced to drop out first semester of my freshman year to have a bowel resection. It seemed to be a cycle after that – I’d complete a semester, then drop out the next for surgery, complete a semester, then drop out again for surgery.
In the midst of all of this, when I was 18, I started dating Dave (my now husband and avid supporter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation). I remember mustering up the courage to tell him of my disease and being comforted by his acceptance and understanding. It was early in our dating days that I ended up hospitalized. He would show up to the hospital every morning before work….only to be turned away by my father every time at my request. I couldn’t let him see me that way!!!
My mother was very active in her NY chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, serving on the board and participating in galas, informational sessions, and Take Steps Walks. Dave would join us for the walks, be willing to have a night in when we planned to go out, take me home when I needed, or leave in the middle of a dinner or movie because I was just too sick.
In 2010, we signed up together for the Team Challenge 13.1 in the Blue Hills where we met Coach Marc. It was my first half marathon and Dave’s second with Team Challenge. For those of you who know us, he has really taken off with this running thing…I have not. I remember those difficult hills during our training sessions, when I was practically in tears and ready to give up, Marc would come up beside me and know the right things to say to keep me going.
Dave has now completed at least 12 races either as a participant, mentor or coach for Team Challenge. I’ve done two. But I do enjoy cheering him on! I’m so thankful for Dave and his support both with Team Challenge and in life, especially when my disease gets in the way of it.
And I’m also thankful for Marc. I’m thankful I’ve met him, I’m thankful for the passion he has for this cause, and those who suffer. His desire to put a face to a cause is inspirational and heartfelt. Go Marc!
Running 26.2 for Nicole!
Marathon 23 – Recap