Community

A Gutsy Walk in the park

Some of the participants in the 2013 Gutsy Walk at Bear Creek Park. - Leader file photo
Some of the participants in the 2013 Gutsy Walk at Bear Creek Park.
— image credit: Leader file photo

On June 8, 15,000 Canadians will unite for the 19th-annual Gutsy Walk and the search for a future without Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

About 300 Surrey residents are expected for the 5K walk at Bear Creek Park to help reach the nationwide goal of raising $3 million to help advance medical research for the diseases.

“What began in 1994 with just a handful of locations has grown into a national event with 59 walk sites in communities across Canada,” said Har Grover, Chair of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “One in every 150 Canadians suffer from Crohn’s and colitis, a rate that ranks in the highest worldwide. These are the 'Canadian diseases.'

"The Gutsy Walk is an opportunity for us to walk together, showing those we care about that they are not alone.”

Crohn’s and colitis are lifelong diseases that can have a devastating impact on quality of life, elevate the risk of colorectal cancer, and in the case of Crohn’s disease, shorten life expectancy. More than 233,000 Canadians are affected by the diseases.

The lifelong diseases cause internal bleeding, ulcers and severe malnutrition, resulting in excruciating pain, urgent bathroom visits, hospital stays, and multiple surgeries.

The illnesses are on the rise in Canadian children and are especially prominent in first-generation South Asians.

This year’s walk will feature the Langley Ukulele Ensemble and Nature’s Fare Market that will provide complimentary organic and gluten-free lunches.

The schedule of events:

• 8:30 a.m.: Registration begins at 13750 88 Ave.

• 9 a.m. to 12 noon: A clown makes balloon animals and does face painting for children

• 10 a.m.: Warmup by Peak Fitness

• 10:15 a.m.: The walk starts

• 11 a.m.: The Langley Ukulele Ensemble performs during lunch

• 11 a.m.: The Langley Nature's Market provide a complimentary lunch of gluten-free smokies and buns, veggie burgers, watermelon, juice boxes, and fruit

• 12 p.m.- Thank-you speech and final prize draw

Visit www.gutsywalk.ca to register and for up-to-date event start times and other walk locations. For more information, visit www.crohnsandcolitis.ca, email gutsywalk_BC@ccfc.ca, follow Twitter at @isupportibd or call 604-220-9865 or 1-800-387-1479.

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