Approximately 1.4 million Americans suffer from either Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease, with 150,000 under the age of 18. Some 20,000 people are affected in Kentucky. CCFA’s mission is to find a cure and improve the quality of life for these adults and children. Support programs, knowledgeable advocates, and educational resources are provided for patients and their families to help them gain a better understanding of their symptoms and treatments. To promote funding, the annual walk of Take Steps was created as CCFA’s largest fundraising event.
The Kentucky Chapter of CCFA has named Ida Wrocklage as Louisville’s Honored Hero for the next Take Steps walk to be held on May 18, 2013. Ida was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of 13 in April 1999. Ida suffered a rapid progression, deemed by her doctor as “horrendous colitis”, and within six months required surgery to remove her large intestine and rectum. She learned to adjust to her new lifestyle and manage her digestive problems over a period of time with medicine. Through determination, she graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design in 2008.
Ida’s pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning was delayed by another road block in May 2011. After many years of ongoing bouts with cramping and inflammation, doctors diagnosed her with Crohn’s Disease. For a girl that ate healthy and “grew up on garden food”, learning how and what to eat became Ida’s new mission. After discovering and studying how foods break down, she began eating foods that she would digest easier. A smoothie mixture of fruit, honey, yogurt and other things became her breakfast. She practices yoga, tries to get plenty of rest, and receives injections twice a month to manage her symptoms.
Ida has supported Take Steps, raising $1500 last year in her first walk. She has initiated programs where she works at Spencerian College. By introducing activities to “maintain a healthy gut” among students around campus and being a mentor in the CCFA program, no doubt Ida will surpass her goal at the upcoming walk. She credits CCFA for their invaluable support, and now believes it’s her turn to pass it forward. Initial advice she would offer for anyone beginning to suffer abdominal issues is “to keep a food diary, eat foods with low residue, rest, and find friends that will support you”. Reevaluating your own diet is key since each person digests food in different ways.
Ida is Louisville’s Honored Hero and only one of the million Americans trying to figure out the best way to live with Crohn’s. Building awareness, research and funding are critical in curing Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Do your part to help CCFA spread the word.