Cassandra Sousa - Kitchener, Ontario Cassandra Is a 30 year old female who has been living with Crohns since she was 16 years old. When she turned 25, she was also diagnosed with colitis. She is like everyone else and loves to go to the movies, shop, hike, hang out with friends and family amongst other things. She has had many bowel surgeries, infusions and taken many medications but through it all has not given up, in fact she uses her illness to keep going. Since she turned 25 she went back to college and received an honours degree in forensics, finished police foundations and makes sure to set a new goal every year to raise more money and awareness for the Gutsy Walk.
Ashley Anderson - Mississauga, Ontario, Ashley is a 26 year old woman who has been living with Crohn's disease for over 17 years. She is awesome because she has chosen to get out of her shell and be an advocate for ibd. She is a past member of The Crohn's and Colitis Gutsy Generation Youth Advisory Board, trekked a 4 day intensive climb along to Inca Trail to Machu Pichu Peru to raise IBD awareness, and is now creating education videos and raising ibd awareness with Gut Inspired.
Harley Langford Harley is a 12 year old boy living with both Crohn's and Colitis. He was diagnosed in September of 2010. Despite numerous tests, horrible pills and injections - he still goes to school - hangs with friends and is Captain of his hockey Team. He is awesome becasue in 2011 he helped raise over $2000 for the Gutsy Walk and last year did a community bottle drive and raised over $300 and enlightened his community on IBD! This year he has Challenged his sister to see who can raise the most money!
Mackenzie Langford Mackenzie is almost 14 years old and has been living with Crohns disease since she was 10. She has been through diffrent types of medications and drug trials for her IBD and now goes to the hospital for monthly injections to control her disease. Kenzie is awesome becasue she never lets the bad days stop her. She manages to be a top student, participate in gymnastics and loves shopping with her friends!Last year she participated in the M&M BBQ and helped her family raise over $3K for the Gutsy Walk - this year she is challenging her brother to see who can raise the most money.
Jillian Milley Jillian was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when she was 8 years old. She has had and continues to have a very tough battle with her disease but she hasn't let that stop her. Last year the CCFC presented her with an award for the extraordinary amount of money she raised for The Gutsy Walk and even made her The Honourary Chair in her region. The past 3 years Jillian has been doing different things to bring awareness & raise money to help find a cure. Thanks to her family and friends in the last 2 years she has raised 22 thousand dollars towards the cause. Last year Jillian and her mom let off helium balloons with a note in a baggie attached to each balloon with their email address and information on IBD on the note. They heard back from 3 people who found the balloons, and still keep in touch with them. Jillian and her mom do everything they can to bring awareness to IBD and raise money for a cure. She pledges to be a "Pain in the Butt" until a cure is found!!
Jennie David - Halifax, Nova Scotia Jennie is a 21 year old senior at Boston University studying Psychology. She was diagnosed with Crohn's at 12 and has had a permanent ileostomy since 2010. She has been involved with the CCFC for the past 9 years, has been on the Youth Advisory council since 2007, is on the Patient Advisory Council of the ImproveCareNow network, runs an IBD student support group at Boston University, and is one of the founders of The Gutsy Generation. She hiked Machu Picchu with IDEAS for IBD/ostomy awareness, and has recently completed a sprint triathlon and a half-marathon. Jennie wants to be a pediatric psychologist for chronically ill children.
Taylor Sharpe - Toronto, Ontario Taylor is a 22 year old female currently completing her Bachelor of Education at Brock University. Taylor has a passion for teaching and hopes to focus on international and special needs education upon graduation. She was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in her second year of university at the age of 19 and has been living happily without her colon since 2011. She has been involved with the CCFC's Youth Advisory Council since 2011 contributing actively to their blog, Facebook and Twitter. Taylor has spent the last five months working on The Butt Campaign for The Gutsy Generation and feels so unbelievably blessed to have had the chance to meet so many inspirational IBD-ers along the way. In addition to being an IBD advocate, Taylor is a runner and is happy to say she just completed her first half marathon this past October and is looking forward to the next one!
Robbie Murray - Oakville, Ontario Robbie was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when he was 6 years old. Robbie is now 10 years and he knows how hard it can be to live with IBD. Sometimes Robbie's disease keeps him away from school and his friends when he is not feeling well. When Robbie misses a lot of school, he always works hard to catch up because but no matter what he will always keep trying and never give up! This year at school, he is even the student voice representative, which is similar to the class president. Robbie started a charity called Robbie's Rainbow. Robbie's Rainbow, raises funds to help kids with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis get the treatments they need to help manage their IBD. They also give families information about IBD as well as mentor families who have children newly diagnosed with IBD. When Robbie is not raising awareness, he is riding his bike with friends, skating, or running cross country. Robbie promises to be pain in the butt, to never give up on himself, his IBD friends or his IBD community. He believes we are all in this together and we will keep each other strong.
Julia Benoit Julia was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when she was 7 years old. After her diagnosis she was really scared, her stomach hurt a lot and she was tired all the time. Julia had to try lots of different medications until she found something that worked for her. There was a point where Julia was using a feeding tube and because of this for 8 weeks she didn't eat any food. Instead, she just had liquid through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. This didn't stop Julia though! She had just started playing hockey when she got sick, and didn't want to stop. Julia decided to try and play hockey even with her NG tube in...and guess what? It worked! She is awesome because she is not going to let Crohn's Disease stop her from living her life to the fullest! For the last 18 months she has been having Remicade infusions and taking methotrexate injections. Julia is happy to say that now she is feeling so much better.
John Bradley - Lancashire, England John was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when he was 25 years old after 7 years of increasingly severe symptoms and multiple phantom diagnoses. John is now 54 and has 7 major operations under his belt and has lost a total of 5/6ths of his small bowel. That hasn't stopped him though! He spent 24 years working for Cadbury in England and Canada. John left Cadbury in 2003 having reached dizzy heights of Senior Vice President in Marketing. John is now self employed focusing on consultiung and writing. He wrote "The Foul Bowel - 101 Way to Survive and Thrive with Crohn's Disease" (his second book) and has recently just started work on his 4th book that focuses in more on the topic of business. John is one gutsy guy that hasn't let Crohn's stop him!!
Amber Recchia Amber was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease on her 10th birthday. Even though she was diagnosed at such a young age, her disease didn't stop her from going to college! Unfortunately, Amber had to drop out of college over 6 years ago because her Crohn’s got to bad and she underwent surgery to have her whole large intestine removed. She is currently working full time and commutes an hour a day to her job. This is a big accomplishment for somebody with IBD as most people need to use the bathroom frequently and sometimes urgently. Amber is happy to report that she dances on a regular basis with her friends as she now has the energy to do so. She pledges to be a pain in the butt and she also challenges you to do the same.
Aiden Richter Aiden was diagnosed with Crohn’s at the age of 9,having had the symptoms since age 8. He has struggled with Crohn’s for 9 years altogether. He's experienced the pain of flare ups, “moon face” and the bathroom embarrassments of this disease. His family and the GI staff from Sick Kids were a big help during these times. He's tried many of the drug treatments, such as Humira, unsuccessfully until he tried Remicade. As he finishes grade "13" he is looking forward to deciding on which college or University to attend. Aiden hope to become a Marine Biologist or Conservationist. Aiden's additional interests are, music (both playing and listening), physics, and photography. He believes that his ability to continue towards his goals while dealing with the day to day chaos that Crohn’s can cause makes him unique and awesome in this world. His disease can never change this, no matter how hard it may try!