Gusty Walk: One Giant Step


Boy, what a day! Sunday, June 8, 2014 marked the 19th annual Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.

Jasmine and her dad

It was the first year I’ve been able to attend since my diagnosis in 2008 and the excitement really did make up for the lost time.  We surpassed our local goal of $70,000 this year, and team VeganOstomy made up over $1500 of that. 

Photo with Chantel
Me and my daughter with Chantel Wicks, Local Honorary Chair 2014

The walk was held at the beautiful Heydenshore Kiwanis Park in Whitby, Ontario.  

The weather was sunny in the morning and overcast by the end of the event, with the temperature reaching a comfortable 21 degrees Celsius.  

It was the first time I’d visited this park, but it won’t be the last.  

The event featured a live band, food, face painting, a photo booth and a few activities for the kids.  

My daughter and I were there for the 8:30am registration, and we were able to see and chat with a several wonderful people.  We met Chantel Wicks, who was named the Local Honorary Chair for this years walk, and I even got to meet Jen (from Crohnic Crohn’s) and her partner Doug, who were super-awesome to talk with!  

Chantel gave an emotional speech to kick off the walk which highlighted the fact that no matter how good those of us with IBD look on the outside, we are still very ill in the inside.  That’s a common theme among those of us with IBD, the stigma of having an “invisible illness” is a hard one to deal with. 

We walked 5 km (completing the walk), which isn’t a long distance by any means, but when you’ve got joint pains going into it, you can’t expect it to be easy.  

At around the 3 km mark, my right knee, which has given me grief over the past several months, began hurting.  

I think adrenaline carried me past the finish line, because I didn’t slow down or break stride!  Seeing so many people supporting the fight for a cure was highly motivational.

I look forward to doing next year’s walk, and I want to again thank all the people who helped to organize this event, and to all those who’ve donated to the Gutsy Walk.  Without you, valuable research wouldn’t be possible.

Gutsy Start
Gutsy Walk starting line! Fist pumps by everyone!
All those people
The turnout was great!


Durham Gutsy Walk 2014 - Crohn's and Colitis Canada
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Now we move onto some information that might appeal to ostomates and vegans (or both!).

I decided to eat light the day before, mostly to control my output on the morning of the walk.  

Since I tend to empty my ostomy pouch several times in the morning, I didn’t want to be bothered with it during the walk.  

The plan worked well, and I only needed to empty my pouch once during the event, and it was after the walk was done.  For hydration, I relied on the Vega Electrolyte Hydrator, which I also plan on using during the prep before my ileoscopy in July (I’ll write a separate blog entry about that later).    

I think it did the trick, as I didn’t feel the slightest bit dehydrated during the walk, so I’ll continue to use it as a sports drink replacement.

I also used the Goddess Garden Organics Natural Sunscreen, which did amazingly well and my skin thanks me for it :)  

We applied the sunscreen before leaving the house at around 8am and had it on until we left, which was approx. 2pm.  The product is completely vegan, made of natural ingredients and works. I’ll try to write a separate review on it if there’s any interest.

My ostomy appliance, which is currently the Hollister New Image (#11203 and 18183) wafer and pouch, held up quite well without any issues whatsoever during the walk.  

My pouch hack worked like a charm :)

Hopefully, my legs won’t curse me out over the next few days!

Question: Did any of you attend the Gutsy Walk this weekend?

10 thoughts on “Gusty Walk: One Giant Step”

  1. Hi Eric! Your blog about the gutsy walk came up on my Facebook news feed through Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and it led me to your page. Very interesting read. Glad you made it to the walk :-) I hope there is a cure for us one day.

  2. Congrats on the fundraising and on doing the walk Eric! I so hear you on the joint pain. Man, sometimes I feel like an old woman. My ‘fast’ pace is like my ‘slow’ pace used to be, pre-illness. But in the end, I’m just happy I got to the finish line and managed to walk with my friends and parents, despite the current pneumonia complication. Like you said, it was really motivating to see so many people out supporting this importance cause. :)

    • Yeah, it really concerns me to have these joint pains. They often affect my day-to-day activities, but the rheumatologist said that unless it gets worse or my joins swell up, there’s nothing we can really do about it. I don’t wan’t to take pain meds just to take pain meds (they don’t address the problem), and I’ve even been trying some anti-inflammatory supplements without much luck.

      What do they say in your part of the country? “c’est la vie!” LOL

      • Well, I’m still waiting for my first appt with a rheumatologist. Sometimes my fingers swell up so badly my fingers are all deformed. I showed my GP and she was shocked. Just said ‘That’s out of my league. I’m sending you to see a rheumatologist.’ Of course, I’m already on humira so sometimes that seems to help, but not always. I’m taking some natural health products to try to reduce inflammation in my system as well as doing acupuncture and trying to follow a more anti-inflammatory diet but so far I see no rhyme or reason why some days my joints swell up and other times not. I thought weather might have something to do with it but today it’s really rainy and humid and my joints are fine. So who knows?? Just another extra-intestinal symptom of crohn’s I guess. Sucks big time though – not knowing what I can do to help reduce the swelling. :(

        • My joint pains never involve swelling and my blood results seem normal (no high inflammatory markers). My joint pains all went away after getting my ileostomy in Aug 2013, but then they came back after a booster vaccine several months ago. I’ve been told time and time that it’s not related, but I have my doubts.

        • Don’t you feel like we have to be detectives when we have an auto-immune disease? LOL So much they don’t know: so much we start suspecting after we start seeing patterns…so few answers provided by research and the medical community at this point in time…

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