By: Roger Hoke – News Editor
What started out as a health and sports science class assignment has turned into philanthropic event for a group of UD students.
The first Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America games will take place April 19 to bring awareness to Crohn’s disease.
Junior sports managment major Julie Schimeck, first-year business major Tyler Moon and sophomore sports management major Ryan McGarvey are several of the students who helped bring this event into being.
“We wanted to have a multi-sport game, and we also wanted to link to a charity,” McGarvey said.
A speaker for the CCFA came into their class at the beginning of the semester, and the group became interested in working with the CCFA.
Moon, who is serving as the spokesperson for the event, is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and was asked to help raise awareness for the event to help the organization he has been part of for five years.
“I’m involved in the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. I’ve been involved in it for over five years,” Moon said. And [the speaker] told them that there was a freshman that they should get into contact with for the event.”
Moon will be the face of the group and share his story during the games to raise more awareness about the CCFA during the activities.
“We’re trying to put a face to what it’s helping and I’m a patient of the disease so we thought by showing someone who actually has it, it kind of gives it a more personal side, so the people involved will be playing games, but will also realize that they are helping other people,” Moon said.
According to the CCFA website, Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. The disease can cause severe symptoms and about 700,000 Americans are diagnosed with it. However, Americans not as aware of this disease as so many others.
“I always say with my mom, with being involved in the foundation, that fundraising is a huge goal, but advocacy is just as important,” Moon said. “We have to raise funds but we are not going to raise the funds or get to where we need to be if not everybody understands what it is.”
The goal of the event is to raise as much awareness as possible for the disease, and Moon does not think that enough has been done yet to help with this cause.
“As a patient, I would say, it’s really frustrating,” said Moon. “I mean, I’m not saying that I need it to be as well known as cancer or something like that, but for there to be so much confusion, and I can’t be mad that people don’t understand it, but as a patient it’s really hard when you can’t even talk about it without constant confusion and people just not being able to understand.”
Moon said this frustration and lack of understanding are what motivates him to do events like this for the CCFA.
“So it’s frustrating, but it also gives me the drive to want to be a part of these events. And I want to have more of them started because getting awareness out there is the most important part of this event.”
For more about the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and to donate to the cause, click here.