Why I WALK IT: A family visit

17 June 2020

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This week, we spoke to Kirsty, who took advantage of My WALK IT by tying in a visit to her parents. 6-year-old Brody hadn't been to see his Grandparents for eleven weeks due to lockdown and they even had a cheer squad on the way home!

When Brody was diagnosed with Crohn's last October, I knew we had to raise funds for Crohn's & Colitis UK after our consultant put me in touch with the charity and I started following them on socal media. It was great to see all the information being posted and how other people with Crohn's or Colitis interact with each other. Due to Brody's age, he's still quite naïve and doesn't really understand what the illness is but that means I've got to be his voice until he understands for himself and can make his own decisions. That's a lot of pressure on me as a parent and the information from Crohn's & Colitis UK helped a lot with this.

This is why we signed up for our first WALK IT, the 10k route in Bristol, and I had the JustGiving page set up and ready to go with Brody's story when the walk was postponed.

When we got the email about My WALK IT and it was nice to have something to look forward to again.

I sat one evening and arranged everything then made the JustGiving page live. I didn't in a million years think that we'd hit the target of £200, never mind £3.5k! People are watching their money at the moment so I didn't set a huge target but I did want Brody to raise enough for a physical medal.

Whilst the pandemic has been going on, Brody has seen his grandparents an awful lot less than usual so we wanted to visit them and when we arrived we sat in the garden, social distancing, and had drinks with them to celebrate Brody's achievement. Having them at the midway point also meant that we'd be okay if anything happened on the route, although thankfully everything was fine. Brody's legs did start hurting on the way back but this only lasted ten minutes before we got near home and he started running! It helped that he had some moral support from friends and family who knew we were passing and came out of their homes to wave and cheer him on.

I even arranged with other parents to have children from Brody's school come out and see him in his WALK IT t-shirt so he felt like a little celebrity on the way home.

Thanks to the T-shirts, my mum even got a call from someone asking how they could donate.

For anyone wondering whether they should take on the virtual challenge, I'd say "Just do it!". I'd also recommend Strava because it helps you plan the route and if you're worried, find somewhere near home that you can do laps of so that you can stop if you need to. Finally, make sure you either wear your WALK IT t-shirt or, if you don't have one, find a nice bright purple top and decorate it yourself!

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