On May 10th 2014, I, along with my work colleagues Helen Taylor, Katie Thompson, Katie Nightingale, Lucy Elianu and Amy-Jane Westaway will be taking on the largest “Assault Course on Earth” within the grounds of England’s finest Elizabethan Country Estate – Burghley House.
This is what we have in store for us:
Anyone can enter the Rat Race to challenge themselves on this purpose built obstacle course and we have chosen to do this in aid of two really important charities - the IA (Ileo Anal Support Group) and Red Lion Group. Both charities are support groups for people with ileostomies and internal pouches. The primary aim being to assist people who’ve had their colon removed to return to a full and active life.
Not many people know this but, twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Due to the severity of the condition, I had to have my colon removed in an emergency operation. It took 2 years of 24 hour care provided by my family to get back on my feet and at which point, I decided to have an internal pouch created. Ten years later I have never looked back!
The charities I support provide a much needed support for people who have similar conditions and just don’t have the support network to help them. Having a colostomy bag and internal pouch is a difficult transition to deal with. I am extremely lucky to have a great support network in my family, friends and my employer – but not everyone is that lucky. I now lead a virtually normal life only attending hospital for checkups and the odd tweak here and there. I am very fortunate – not all “pouchies” are as lucky as I am.
So, I have rounded up some work colleagues and as part of reaching my 10 year anniversary of having the pouch fitted I wanted to do a physical challenge and raise awareness for my condition. People are often embarrassed to talk about their condition and I wanted to do something to give back and show how much better it is to be able to talk about it openly.
The day is going to be fantastic and if you want to come along and cheer us on – please do go to the website for Rat Race Dirty Week-end and find out all the details. (There is a big campsite and after party with live music as well.)
Please consider sponsoring our challenge – all the funds will be used to undertake vital research in relation to both procedures and also to provide support for those that are about to have their colon removed. Click now to give a donation via our Virgin Money Fundraising Page.