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Letter to the Editor:

On Sunday, June 4th nearly 18,000 Canadians will walk united to show they’ve got the guts to stop Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Our Grey-Bruce WALK will be held at Walkerton District Community School, 1320 Yonge Street, Walkerton. Registration: 9:00 AM with a 5 KM WALK beginning by 10:00 AM.

Canada has more reason to be concerned about Crohn`s disease and ulcerative colitis than anywhere else in the world. One in 150 Canadians has one of these life-altering diseases – a rate that ranks highest worldwide. Canadian children under 10 are the fastest growing demographic – rates have nearly doubled since 1995. Many in Grey-Bruce live with Crohn’s disease or colitis, so you may know someone affected by these often isolating diseases.

This year’s Grey-Bruce GUTSY WALK is represented by local Honourary Chair Karen Grubb. She is 23 years old and finishing up an undergraduate degree in Architectural Science, Project Management, Ryerson University. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age eleven but has not let that stop her pursuit of goals and dreams. After a two year process riddled with hospital visits and invasive tests, she learned the cause of her abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea and other unexplainable symptoms.

For a number of years, Karen was able to live life ‘normally.’ She participated fully in both elementary and secondary school, involving herself in extra-curricular opportunities like student council, yearbook, and event coordination. But, by the end of the first semester at Ryerson and throughout university, Crohn’s disease reared itself again, resulting in frequent hospital visits.

In April 2015, Karen had surgery as a way to get ahead of inflammation. Post surgery, Karen worked at a sixteen-month co-op placement close to home where she enjoyed the support of family and friends. Now, in her final semester, Karen feels better than ever.

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Karen gives credit to her supporters: family, friends, medical team. They’ve dedicated themselves to helping her keep motivated to fight the disease. Her message to others with a diagnosis, ‘Keep fighting and don’t let it stop you from living the life you dream.’

The Grey-Bruce Crohn’s and Colitis Canada volunteers work throughout the year to educate the community about these diseases and raise funds for research. We rely on your support to make the GUTSY WALK a success. Join us on walk day and meet Karen. To volunteer, please contact me at cindymatthews1957@gmail.com. For more information about the GUTSY WALK please visit WWW.GUTSYWALK.CA.

Yours truly,

Cindy Matthews

Media Volunteer

Grey-Bruce Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

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Thursday, March 16, 2017