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May 7, 2013 > Fremont takes steps for Crohn's & Colitis

Fremont takes steps for Crohn's & Colitis

By A. Greenberg

Team Megan Poopsalot! Why would teenager Megan Nardini form a team and give it such a funny name?

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that serves the entire Bay Area with the mission "to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases." Although 1.4 million Americans of all ages have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), many do not know what Crohn's or ulcerative colitis are because people often suffer silently.

While critical research is being done to unravel the causes of IBD, CCFA supports patients and their families locally and nationally through educational programs, summer camp, support groups, and youth activities. The foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, and more than 80 cents of every dollar they spend goes to mission-critical programs.

Fremont is leading the way in raising awareness and funds for CCFA. On Saturday, May 11, Fremont's Team Megan Poopsalot will walk in the Silicon Valley Take Steps Walk for the sixth year, and each year, they have been top fundraisers. Team Megan Poopsalot was founded by Megan Nardini when she was 16 years-old. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when she was in sixth grade at Warm Springs School, Megan, like a third of those with IBD, did not go into remission with medical treatments. After six abdominal surgeries and being too ill to attend junior high or high school,

Megan decided to speak out. She was named CCFA's Local Honored Hero in 2008 and talked about her disease publically, in articles, on the radio, and online. "Team Megan Poopsalot" is a humorous way to bring attention to a digestive disease that many people find too embarrassing to discuss. The frequent and urgent trips to the bathroom are often accompanied by intense abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, joint pain, anemia, and weight loss.

Silicon Valley Take Steps Walk is a casual two- mile stroll and festival with live music, food, and kids' activities. The free event starts at 5 p.m. at San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Fremont's Team Megan Poopsalot hopes to have the biggest team at the walk and invites you to register for their team and/or make a donation at http://online.ccfa.org/goto/teammeganpoopsalot. This year, walk photographer Mylene Stolpe, is another volunteer from Fremont!

Fremont also has an active CCFA support group that meets from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday monthly at Washington Hospital West. The group welcomes patients, friends and family members looking for information and understanding. Fremont resident and Support Group Facilitator Amy Nardini was awarded CCFA's inaugural Marilyn Joyce Mueller Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2012. Marilyn Joyce lived in Fremont for many years before founding the Fremont CCFA Support Group in 2008. Sadly, she passed away from complications of Crohn's disease in July 2011. The group's warmth, compassion and drive to be well informed stem from Marilyn who called herself "Dr. Gut Mom" and the "Mighty Gut Warrior." The next support group meeting is May 28.

For more information about Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, or to register or volunteer for the Take Steps Walk, contact CCFA at (415) 356-2233 or www.ccfa.org.

Silicon Valley Take Steps Walk
Saturday, May 11
5 p.m.
Plaza de Cesar Chavez
S. Market St., San Jose
(415) 356-2233
http://online.ccfa.org/goto/teammeganpoopsalot
www.ccfa.org
Free

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