Written by Tim Talley
Willimantic, Conn. - F.E.M.A.L.E.S. (Females Excelling Maturing to Achieve Leadership, Excellence and Success), a student club at Eastern Connecticut State University that promotes leadership and unity among women on campus, is sponsoring its Second Annual "Take Steps." The event is a fundraising walk to support people suffering from Crohn's Disease and Colitis, and takes place from noon to 4 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the Mansfield Athletic Complex.
Sponsorships include $30 for a student club or sports team, $5 for an individual or $3 for an Eastern student. For more information or to register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Our goal is to educate others about Crohn's and colitis and spread public awareness about what they entail," said Shawnese Cook, a senior from Windsor and co-president of F.E.M.A.L.E.S. "We, also hope to raise money to help find a cure. This event began last year in support of F.E.M.A.L.E.S. member, Amy Goldberg, who was the group's secretary at the time. We soon found many others are affected by these diseases throughout Eastern's campus-faculty, students and staff."
Collectively, Crohn's and colitis are the two main categories that belong to a larger group of illnesses called inflammatory bowel disease. The symptoms of these two illnesses are so similar that it is sometimes difficult to definitively establish the diagnosis. According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), approximately 10 percent of colitis cases are unable to be pinpointed as either ulcerative (chronic) colitis or Crohn's disease, and are called indeterminate colitis.
Named after American gastroenterologist Burrill Bernard Crohn, the physician who described the disease in 1932, Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines that most commonly affects the small and large intestines, but can affect the entire digestive system. The colon is mainly affected in colitis.
According to the CCFA, more than a million Americans have these illnesses. Both genders are affected equally. Crohn's disease may occur in people of all ages, but is primarily a disease of adolescents and young adults, affecting mainly those between 15 and 35. There is no cure for Crohn's disease; however, medical treatment, which strives to suppress the inflammatory response, and a healthy diet/nutrition, are essential in fighting this condition.