My name is Emily Oram, currently attending Villa Walsh Academy as a sophomore. I have been an active member for two years in the Mountain Lakes Crew Club, situated on Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey. On May 11th of 2013 the Men’s Varsity Lightweight Eight on our team qualified for nationals by .003 of a second (Woohoo!). This is truly amazing considering the fact that two out of the eight boys in the boat suffer from IBD. (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). They do not allow their diseases to hinder their efforts, but rather inspire people to help others who also suffer from IBD.
So…what is IBD?
IBD includes Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Crohns and UC are both lifelong diseases and are both genetic. Symptoms include constant cramping, stomach aches, diarrhea, so on and so forth. They are both auto-immune disease, so the immune systems are attacking themselves. Scientists practically have no idea what causes it, and there is much to be discovered. There is no cure, but there are treatments. One boy, Paul, suffers from Ulcerative Colitis and receives a bimonthly infusion treatment of Remicade where he visits the hospital for about 3 hours with the medicine being pumped into his blood via IV. Unfortunately, his medicine suppresses his immune system, making it easier to contract other ailments. So rowing (both literally and figuratively) takes guts.
Since the US Rowing National Championships is such a public event, we thought this would be a terrific platform to raise money and fight against IBD. Each donation will sponsor 20 meters of our final race at the National Championships in Tennessee. As far as donations go, we aim to raise $5000. Therefore, we ask for about a minimum of $20 per sponsorship ($1 per meter), but ANYTHING HELPS. Let’s conquer Crohns and Colitis one stroke at a time.
-All proceeds will benefit the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America.