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The funds we raised during our casual Fridays in December and January went towards the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, a very worthwhile charity. More specifically, they went towards Melanie Loiselle Mongeon’s fundraising efforts for Team Challenge Crohn’s & Colitis as she prepared to run her first half marathon.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes very painful cramping and, at the moment, no one knows precisely what causes it. IBD affects over 1.6 million Americans, but no cure exists, yet.

When patients experience severe symptoms it affects far more than their digestive system. It can impair development in children. It can also cause liver, skin, eye or joint inflammation, fever, fatigue, and weight loss. It seriously impacts many patients’ quality of life.

For the past few months, Melanie Loiselle-Mongeon has been preparing to run her first half-marathon in February in New Orleans. Melanie has a personal connection to Crohn’s Disease. Doctors diagnosed her good friends’ daughter, Sydney, with Crohn’s 6 years ago. She was only 8 years of age when the doctors pinpointed the disease, and Melanie has seen first-hand what the disease can do.

Thanks to CCFA therapies, Sydney is now a freshman at Bishop Feehan High School, but she continues to battle Crohn’s Disease. As Melanie states on her fundraising page, “I figure if she can brave Crohn’s Disease and all its unpleasantness on a daily basis, I can brave the 1/2 marathon training regimen to help make a difference!”

Melanie was a proud participant in the Team Challenge Crohn’s & Colitis half marathon held in New Orleans on Sunday, February 5th. By combining endurance training and fundraising, participants change lives, including their own. They improve their fitness level and forge new friendships with others on the same path. Melanie, her husband, Sydney’s parents, and other close friends endured months of rigorous training during the cold New England winter. They ran in freezing rain, frigid temperatures, and even in snow storms. Their training and fundraising efforts all paid off. This past weekend, they successfully completed 13.1 miles and their New England team collectively raised over $130,000 for the cause! Melanie herself raised over $9700!

We would like to congratulate Melanie Loiselle-Mongeon, her husband Geoff, and fellow teammates for successfully completing the Team Challenge Crohn’s & Colitis half marathon! We want to wish Sydney and others suffering from the disease, continued strength while they battle and cope with the painful symptoms.

Although the event is over, it’s never too late to donate to the cause. Visit Melanie’s fundraising page today.

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