Why we took on a My WALK IT challenge

Published 05 August 2022

My WALK IT has drawn to a close for another year and our incredible supporters raised over £140,000.

We speak to Matt and Hope about why they took part.


I wanted to participate in My WALK IT to raise fund for research into further treatments, and hopefully one day there will be a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis.


Matt
Living with Crohn's

After years of severe pain, sickness, and times of having a liquid-only diet I know how challenging living with Crohn’s can be!

This was the first time I have taken part in My WALK IT or anything like it.

I did it this year because I had major surgery in February 2022 to remove several sections of my bowel, which had become narrowed and scarred thanks to Crohn’s Disease.

As I lay in my intensive care bed, high on pain medication and hooked up to machines I thought about how I was unable to walk, wash, eat or dress myself. I needed something to aim for during my recovery and knew that My WALK IT would be a good challenge for me.

Since then, I have worked on my recovery every day, buying a treadmill to use at home. In the space of a few months, I went from barely walking a few steps unaided to getting ready for a 10km walk.

One of my best friends joined me on the day to provide support and maybe also to keep me honest! It was quite a hot day but after several hours of keeping a steady pace, we completed the distance. Before too long, I was back home resting my aching legs and enjoying an ice-cold beer.

It was great taking part in this event and seeing all the updates from the community completing their walks. This really helped to motivate me.

Thanks to the support of friends and family I managed to raise over £1,300. This is more than I could have ever imagined, and I am so incredibly grateful to everyone.

 

This event was fantastic and shows how together we can all make a huge difference!


I first heard about WALK IT from my friend who lives with Colitis and had taken part in WALK IT Edinburgh.


Hope

When the event became virtual I wanted to take part in My WALK IT with my twin brother, Ryan. He had suffered with Colitis since the age of 12 so around 10 of us walked, danced, and sang around Strathclyde Park in June 2021.

The next day, Ryan was sore as his body was not used to this sort of exercise. He had been in contact with his IBD nurse specialist as he noticed his symptoms started to worsen.

This year, we wanted to do My WALK IT again as we’d had so much fun the first time.

Unfortunately, Ryan became very unwell, and in April 2022 Ryan was admitted to hospital. He called me to come in as the doctors said his bowel had perforated and we thought they might be discussing the possibility of a stoma bag.

However, on 1 May we were told that Ryan had stage 4 bowel cancer. We were all absolutely heartbroken. Ryan was only 23 years old and weeks away from graduating with an honours degree in electrical and electronic engineering. He passed away 13 days later.

Four weeks later on 5 June, we took on our second My WALK IT challenge with Ryan watching over us.

There were 20 of us this time, with friends and family joining. This was amazing and I raised £4,700 on behalf of my twin brother. We have a family history of both Colitis and bowel cancer so these are both causes that mean a lot to me.

One of my best friends, Stefanie, was good friends with Ryan too. She has an Instagram page dedicated to her stoma bag which helps so many other people and I could not have gotten through this without Stefanie, my parents and my partner, Ewan.

We all know we will continue to WALK IT each year to raise awareness and funds for something so close to our hearts.


Inspired to fundraise?

If you want to take on an event like Hope and Matt, or fundraise in your own way, we have lots of events and tips to get you started.

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