SYRACUSE — On Dec. 7, Roger and Stacy Gray along with the Lakeland Eagles 3760 held their second annual Crohn’s and colitis benefit to help raise money and awareness for the Indiana chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. The Grays chose this for their benefit since Stacy was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2006. The first week in December is Crohn’s and colitis awareness week.
A check for $4,400 was presented to Amanda Thomas of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Indiana chapter by the Grays and other Eagles members Thursday, Dec. 26.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases that can affect anyone of any age, sex, race and more. It is estimated that 70,000 Hoosiers are suffering with IBDs.
Thomas emphasized that these are invisible illnesses, and since they affect the gastrointestinal tract, the illness and symptoms are difficult conversation topics and specific to each individual. “Though they are not the same as other chronic diseases,” she explained, “they are just as debilitating.” She wants to help empower those with the disease, like Stacy, to start those difficult conversations, claiming, “If not you, then who?”
At the Dec. 7 event, the Eagles held a bake sale, raffle, silent auction and accepted donations to benefit the foundation. Area businesses also donated prizes for the raffle and silent auction. Their goal was to raise $2,000 and they ended up raising $2,200.
Following the event, an anonymous donor doubled the amount and matched what they had earned, giving them $4,400 to present to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
With the money raised from this benefit, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation will focus on its two primary goals of finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those suffering from these diseases.
For more information about the diseases and the foundation, visit www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org.
For more information on the Lakeland Eagles, visit its F.O.E. 3760 Facebook page.