Boy what a day! Sunday June 8, 2014 marked the 19th annual Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. 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.
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 5km (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 3km 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 years 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.
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!
Did any of you attend the Gutsy Walk this weekend?