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My Life as An Advocate in 2012

Another amazing year being a patient advocate. 

Scroll through to see all albums. Hover over a photo to read the caption or click to expand.

The Original Girls With Guts Meet Up

In 2012 there were not very many online IBD advocates around. Those of us who had been doing it for awhile and became friends decided it was time to meet up in person in Chicago.

Jackie and I drove from Michigan where we are both from. Her and I have been friends for a few years because of Camp Oasis. We met up with Megan and Andrea from The Great Bowel Movement and Charis from, My Doctor Knows Me Best From Behind. One of the girls friends joined us for our photo shoot. 

We enjoyed our weekend so much and saw the benefit of bringing people together and a few months later Jackie, Charis, and I started Girls With Guts. When the decision was made to turn it into a non profit I did not continue on with them. 

Camp Oasis 2012

Camp Oasis is a summer camp for children and teens living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. 

2012 Camp Oasis was special because it’s where I debuted Gut Girl. This year I was partnered with Blake as my co-counselor and we had the oldest girls cabin. The previous year had been a very difficult one for us because we lost a good friend of ours (Katie) to cancer. Having Blake as my co and the amazing, perfect week we had at camp was almost like Katie was sending us little gifts all week. 2012 Camp Oasis has always been one of my favorites. 

Get Your Guts In Gear 2012 Wisconsin

GYGIG is a 150 bike ride for IBD. You can either ride or volunteer. The ride spans the weekend and you camp at different places each night wherever the ride ends that day. 

Megan convinced me to sign up and ride with her even though I totally knew it would be near impossible with my health that year and lack of conditioning. Still I signed up, got a bike, and did what I could. I pretty much rode maybe 30 miles at most and laid in the back of a sweep van the rest of the time with a few stops to vomit along the way. 🙁 It’s OK though because when you do events for sick people it’s something they prepare for. 

I still had the best time hanging out with everyone, especially on the first night when I was feeling a little better. The following 2 years I volunteered as a crew member which was much better suited to my abilities. 

Random Stuff

Sorry for the awful quality of photos in most of these albums. Instagram 2012 filters are responsible for so many hideously edited photos of that year. Eeek!