Ta'Lana Watt Madu is the local honorary chair of the Gutsy Walk. The 21-year-old was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2012.

Ta'Lana Watt Madu is the local honorary chair of the Gutsy Walk. The 21-year-old was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2012.

Gutsy Walk in Abbotsford for Crohn’s and Colitis disease

June 5 event part of national campaign to raise $100 million by 2020 for research and education

Over the last four years, 21-year-old Ta’Lana Watt Madu has had to go to hospital six times because of her Crohn’s disease, staying 14 to 41 days each visit.

I think this disease is a strong mental battle” says Madhu, the local chair of the June 5 “Gutsy Walk” in Abbotsford.

Fighting the disease has been a frustrating process of trying different medications only to have them stop working, she said.

Each time I went into a flare (up) and ultimately another hospital visit,” Madhu said.

“Even though I have yet to go into remission, I still have a positive view on my future. I do not let my Crohn’s dictate my life, I continue to live it to the fullest.”

The Abbotsford event is part of a national campaign by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada to raise $100 million by 2020 for research, education and advocacy.

So far, about a third of that amount has been raised.

A goal of $29,500 has been set for the Abbotsford campaign.

So far, seven teams and 17 participants have signed up for the Sunday morning walk at Mill Lake Park.

Registration is at 9 a.m. with a warm-up at 9:45 a.m. followed by a 10 a.m. start.

The route is 2.5 kilometres on a flat asphalt path around Mill Lake Park, described as a dog friendly park with washrooms available on route.

For more information, call 1-800-513-8202 or email gutsywalk_BC@crohnsandcolitis.ca

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is a national volunteer-based charity dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and to improving the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases.

The charity currently funds three research projects taking place at BC Children’s Hospital: Dr. Laura Sly’s research team has discovered how white blood cells that normally cause intestinal inflammation, can be re-trained to block inflammation and promote healing of intestinal tissues; Dr. Ted Steiner’s research team (at Vancouver General Hospital and BC Children’s) has developed “CAR-Tregs,” regulatory cells that can be targeted to the gut to block inflammation; and Dr. Bruce Vallance’ research team has discovered how intestinal epithelial cells respond in IBD to identify novel ways to promote mucosal healing.