Crohn’s disease affects 1 in every 200 individuals in the United States including three in our Capital Financial Group Family. Therefore, the pursuit of a cure is deep in our hearts and this year we participated in the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis walk in Memphis and we will also be participating in the Nashville walk as well.
For the Memphis walk, we were honoring Financial Advisor, Spencer Cultra’s son Gavin, who was diagnosed 18 months ago. Helping to raise more than $5,500 for research towards a cure has brought him to an emotional state. Gavin felt very emotional because of how special he felt that people cared enough to donate money towards him and the other patients in the Crohn’s and Colitis Community. “For my son Gavin to get the opportunity to see all of the many people that have been touched by Crohn’s and Colitis and hear about their successes means more than any amount of money. The Take Steps Memphis walk is a chance for the entire family and community to get together and be encouraged that there is a group that is advocating 24/7 for him and his goal of being cured. When you see those that have just been diagnosed in the last couple of years have the chance to fellowship with those who may be fighting this disease for more than 30 years, there is an encouragement that we as parents of a patient can’t provide. We have decided that if money is what it takes to find a cure, then we are going to help to pour as many dollars as needed in the cure bucket until Crohn’s is completely eradicated.” Stated Spencer Cultra. While Gavin was a bit nervous heading to The Take Steps event, by the end of it he was ready to double his goal for 2019. The money that so many gave, and the fellowship of the community during the event, has allowed Gavin the first chance in 18 months to feel like he can do something to fight this disease proactively.
Gearing up for the Nashville walk on May 19th is Lauren Bellflower, Director of Marketing and Branding. Who is a patient herself, as well as a volunteer with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Lauren was diagnosed 8 years ago while in college, and has had two emergency surgeries and multiple hospital stays over the years. Since diagnosis, she has never been in clinical remission, and has had daily symptoms. She has been raising money for the foundation since her diagnosis. Her passion is volunteering at Camp Oasis, a camp for children with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. The camp allows children with these diseases to feel like regular children despite any medications, special diets, ostomy devices, or feeding tubes they may have. They get to swim without judgement or questions about their ostomies, surgical scars or abdominal swelling due to medications. They also can pursue traditional camp activities like kayaking, zip lining, sports, archery, sailing, paddle boarding, and more without fear of judgement, ability restrictions due to their health, or being too far from a restroom. They also get a chance to develop lifelong friends and mentors at camp who understand their unique situation. Camp Oasis can help bring them out of their shell unlike any other experience can.
The Nashville walk is May 19th, and Lauren is hoping to raise $1200 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation with her team before the event, which is enough to send three children to Camp Oasis.