Student leads Crohn’s walk team

Don’t be shy about getting help, Duanesburg 9th grader James Holliday advises those who might be dealing with inflammatory bowel disease.

James, his mom Jessica, family members and Duanesburg High School Nurse Joanne Newsome will be walking as Team James to raise awareness and funds for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation at the Albany Take Steps Walk in the Crossings in Colonie this Saturday, May 4. James Holliday

Team James has raised more than $770 so far. James, his mom and his aunt all live with Crohn’s disease, working with their medical teams to cope with its effects, some of which can be life-threatening.

“I found out I had Crohn’s when I got really sick in 6th grade,” James said. “I take medicine for it and am going to Boston soon to see about putting it into remission.”

James has advice for others who experience Crohn’s or colitis: “Don’t be shy about it. Doctors are here to help you, and that’s what GI (gastrointestinal) doctors do.”

To donate to James’ team visit his mom’s link.

Besides the walk, which starts at 11 a.m., the family-friendly Albany Take Steps event will feature children’s activities, raffles and food.

According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, “Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect an estimated 3.1 million Americans. That’s one in every 100 Americans living with one of these debilitating, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. The fastest growing patient population is children under the age of 18 . . .

Patients can be diagnosed at any age, but are most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 35. Many patients experience numerous hospitalizations. About 23 to 45 percent of people with ulcerative colitis and up to 75 percent of people with Crohn’s disease will eventually require surgical intervention for their disease.

Although considerable progress has been made in IBD research, investigators do not yet know what causes this disease. Studies indicate that the inflammation in IBD involves a complex interaction of factors: the genes the person has inherited, the immune system, and something in the environment.”

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