Volunteers raised more than $60,000 at the 22nd annual Gutsy Walk held in Surrey on June 3.
The event, held on the first Sunday in June, raises funds for research and awareness of Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Teams from Surrey, Langley and Delta took part in this year’s Gutsy Walk in Fleetwood.
The Gutsy Walk is held in 60 communities throughout Canada and $3 million dollars was raised nationally.
“The new Fleetwood Park location was enjoyed by all and we hope that next year we are able to grow even further. The events and games proved to be a great success, adding to the festive atmosphere,” said Krista Olson, chair of the event’s organizing committee. “To all of the family teams that participated, thank you for all the donations you collected that helped to add to our amazing total. We look forward to seeing you again next year for what will hopefully be another wonderful Gutsty Walk.”
The Fleetwood event’s opening ceremony included David Hunt, political candidate running in the federal riding of Cloverdale-Langley City, and a speech from the honourary chair, Yvonne Ehrenholz.
“When I was first diagnosed in 2001, no one knew what IBD was,” said Ehrenholz. “Today more people have heard of the disease, or knows someone who has it, but we need this conversation to continue. I challenge today’s participants of you to tell your story to one more person this week. After all, it takes guts to talk about guts.”
The Gutsy organization says more than 5,000 people living in Langley, Surrey or Delta are living with IBD and that Canada has the highest incidence rates of Crohn’s and Colitis in the world, with 1 in 150 people living with the diseases.
“Currently experts don’t know how IBD is caused and there is no know cure,” notes an event release. “Money raised from the Gutsy Walk will go towards research projects, such as the GEM project which studies the genetic, environmental and microbial elements that may contribute to the development of Crohn’s disease. The Gutsy Walk also help
s increase the awareness of diseases within the community; helping alleviate the stigma surrounding IBD.”
Peter Dobranowski, Chapter President of the Crohn’s and Colitis Chapter for Fraser Valley West, invited residents to connect with the group, which meets every third Tuesday of the month at Fleetwood Library (15996 84th Ave).
To learn more visit crohnsandcolitis.ca or visit their Facebook page, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada – Fraser Valley West Chapter.