After last year’s Rough Runner challenge The Tequila Worms (aka Barrie, Dave & myself from Bishopsgate’s Warrington depot) had gone into early retirement, but when our good friend Andy put out a call for help, The Tequila Worms did not hesitate to reform in support.
Andy was travelling over from Northern Ireland to take part in WALK IT Manchester, in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis UK, who are the leading charity in the battle against Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, and a charity close to Andy’s heart. We would be joining him for a 10k walk around the city centre – starting in Sackville Gardens and taking in the sights of Canal Street, China Town and some very posh shops!
The rain had been constant the week before, so when we turned up on a grey Saturday morning in the middle of June, we had our waterproofs at the ready! Family and friends had all been roped in as we set off in high spirits, despite the gathering black clouds.
Barrie was pacemaker and kept us at a brisk march for most of the walk, that meant we managed to complete the course in a respectable time of just less than 2 hours (and getting us safely back before the heavens opened and the rain came) – we even had time to stop for a Bishopsgate photo opportunity, which we knew managing director Tim Bloch and sales director John Winter would appreciate!
Everyone agreed it was a great day, with good friends ……and we raised money to help the charity find a cure for this chronic condition.
Chrohn’s & Colitis UK
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system or gut. Crohn’s can affect any part of the gut, though the most common area affected is the end of the ileum (the last part of the small intestine), or the colon. The areas of inflammation are often patchy with sections of normal gut in between. A patch of inflammation may be small, only a few centimetres, or extend quite a distance along part of the gut. As well as affecting the lining of the bowel, Crohn’s may also go deeper into the bowel wall. Crohn’s is a chronic condition. This means that it is on-going and life-long, although patients have periods of good health (remission), as well as times when symptoms are more active (relapses or flare-ups).
Who gets Crohn’s Disease?
The charity thinks that Crohn’s Disease affects at least 115,000 people in the UK and millions more worldwide. The condition is more common in urban areas and in northern developed countries – although it’s on the increase in developing nations. Crohn’s is also more likely to appear in white people of European descent, especially those descended from Ashkenazi Jews (who lived in Eastern Europe and Russia). The disease can start at any age, but usually appears for the first time between 10 and 40. Surveys suggest that new cases of Crohn’s are being diagnosed more often, particularly among teenagers and children. It’s slightly more common in women than in men, and also in smokers.
What causes it & is there a cure?
Despite a lot of research, we still don’t know exactly what causes Crohn’s Disease. Which is where we need your help to help fund our research. However, over the past few years major advances have been made, particularly in genetics. We now believe that Crohn’s is caused by a combination of factors;
- the genes you are born with,
- plus an abnormal reaction of your immune system to certain bacteria in your intestines,
- along with an unknown trigger that could include viruses, bacteria, diet, smoking, stress or something else in the environment. Living with a chronic condition like Crohn’s can have both an emotional and practical impact on your life. There may be times when you have to make adjustments and take time to recuperate, for example, if you are having a flare-up. On the other hand, when you are well you may be able to live life to the full.