My disease is Ulcerative Colitis and it is going to be mine forever! 
The time feels right to start raising awareness and sharing my story because my disease is not  going anywhere, and it certainly is not going to beat me. Please don't let the title of 'My disease' scare you off because I want these posts to be knowledgable, helpful and informative. Having a chronic disease has become part of daily life to me, I want to write these posts to share my experiences and not feel isolated throughout.
On Saturday 16th June 2018 I completed WALK IT Manchester to raise money for Crohn's and Colitis UK with my family and my best friend Ella. 
Now some of you may be wondering...
'Lucy what the heck is WALK IT?'
'Who are Crohn's and Colitis UK?'
And I shall answer all these questions throughout this post.

As many of you will know I suffer from Ulcerative Colitis and I've done many posts about this titled 'My Disease' which can be found on my blog. Since diagnosis I've been passionate about wanting to raise awareness around Crohn's and Colitis, they aren't publicised diseases or very well known so my aim has always been to get people talking and listening. 
Crohn's and Colitis UK are the leading charity for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the UK and their website is a hub filled with tonnes of information for both sufferers, carers or for anyone who's interested in the diseases! Over the past 18 months their website has given me all the information I could ever need to help me understand every step of my journey with this disease, their Facebook forum has given me a place to talk to other sufferers and not feel so isolated and their social media pages have given me the inspiration from others to keep battling on. To sum things up, Crohn's and Colitis UK have made my journey with Ulcerative Colitis a lot easier.

Every year they run a fundraising event called WALK IT where you can chose to participate in either a 5km walk or a 10km walk all in aid of raising money and awareness for Crohn's and Colitis UK. Think of it as a 'Race for Life' type thing, but for Crohn's and Colitis UK. Every year WALK IT events are held throughout major cities in the UK and the city I attended was of course MANCHESTER! 

We arrived on the day to a sea of purple. People battled on through the rainy weather and got themselves into Manchester to keep fighting inflammatory bowel disease together! The site where the walk began was filled with different stalls and tents including my favourite of them all, the giant walk through ulcerated colon. I walked through it several times explaining to my family that this is what I see when I have my colonoscopies, a big, red, nasty and very inflamed colon!
Everyone got to the starting line at 10:15am for the 10km walk and two lovely ladies from #GetYourBellyOut campaign were opening the walk and as the countdown finished they cut the ribbon. As we'd done the 10km walk last year, we knew we'd smash it again so at 10:15 we set off!
A wash of purple flooded the streets of Manchester as we spent the next 2 hours walking around town, passing people giving us funny glares thinking 'What's this all about?' which is the reaction we wanted! The walk itself went by really quickly as we were chatting away and taking in all the scenery along the route, we completed it in just over 2 hours and had a lovely finish to the day when we got back...

Every year Crohn's and Colitis UK give out an award called the Alex Demain Young Fundraiser of the Year Award which is given in memory of a boy named Alex. Alex was a well loved volunteer at the charity and he also suffered with Crohn's disease, sadly he passed away in 2015 but he will always be remembered. 
'If we are remembered for the things that we do rather than just what we say, then our friend and colleague, Alex, built a monument of memories.'
I didn't know Alex but reading his story makes me wish I did, he was so passionate about making a change and helping out where he could. His life was too short but he did incredible things within those years that will always be known to so many,  he inspires me to keep battling through life no matter how hard it gets and keep fighting for change. 

This year my Mum nominated me for Alex Demain Young Fundraiser of the Year Award which was incredibly thoughtful of her as to even be thought of by one person as deserving enough of the award let alone more meant the absolute world to me. I did not win the award but on the day of WALK IT Manchester I was recognised, along with two other inspirational, amazing girls for the work that I'd done. Receiving this certificate was of course overwhelming but it made me realise that I should be proud of what my disease has lead me to achieve. 

I am battling this disease psychically and mentally every single day but I am also battling this disease by talking about it, spreading awareness and wanting to make a change. I might be little Lucy Jane sat behind a computer screen but the small actions I take all accumulate into one big difference and I am proud of that. Meeting all these like-minded inspirational people has just made me want to keep battling this disease even more and make even bigger changes than I already have done! In regards to fundraising my total for last year was £3425, this year I'm at £3605 which are both completely mind blowing figures to me as I can't quite believe we've managed to raise so much money! That money will help fund the charity Crohn's and Colitis UK, help fund vital research into finding new medication to help these diseases and most important of all that money might help fund a cure to be found for those suffering with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis!

So thank you to my amazing family and best friend for supporting me both through my journey with Ulcerative Colitis and with WALK IT, thank you to anyone who donated on my just giving page as each donation means the complete world to me and thank you to Crohn's and Colitis UK for recognising the work I do.
I've said it many times before and I'll say it many times again, my aim is to live in a world free of IBD and I hope that the small actions that I take can help us get there!

Lucy Jane