As our Fundraiser of the Month, Tracey has scored herself a $50 donation to her fundraising page. To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.
What inspired you to take on your first Inspired Adventure?
I was on Facebook and saw that Crohn’s & Colitis Australia had announced the China Challenge and were looking for participants. At first I dismissed it, thinking ‘well I could never do anything like that’ but it kept playing on my mind.
I went back and re-read it and thought, actually what is stopping me? Nothing! It came along at a time in my life when I needed a focus and a challenge. After fighting the physical battle with Crohn’s for so many years I was finally feeling better physically but feelings of depression were taking over. This was the perfect distraction and focus that I needed. And to quote Legally Blonde “Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy”.
Why did you choose to fundraise for Crohn's & Colitis Australia?
I have Crohn’s Disease, I was diagnosed about 11 years ago and this disease has changed my life. I must say, not all for the worse. It has changed me as a person, made me stronger, more appreciative, and grateful for the small things in life, not to mention life itself.
You are clearly really involved and invested in the art of giving back to the community, what do you think is so exciting about being able to take on an adventure as well as give to a cause you care about?
I am excited and a little scared about the adventure. For me, the ability to fundraise and give some awareness to a disease that I feel has little to no awareness means a lot. Having IBD myself and seeing how cruel this disease can be makes me so passionate about getting the message out there to others.
If I had not been so embarrassed of my symptoms and sought help sooner then maybe I would still have a bowel. The ‘toilet’ stigma has to stop; Crohn’s and Colitis are so much more than just bowel diseases. The fact that Crohn’s and Colitis affects 1 in 250 Australians and rising is astounding that it gets such little support and awareness.
"Just feeling I am helping others is reward enough"
What are your total funds raised so far? Are there any key fundraising ideas that have been the bulk of your success?
To date I have raised over $4,000 on my Everyday Hero page, and I managed to raise $4,200 through Cow Poo Bingo! What’s this you may ask?
Well, although Crohn’s and Colitis are much more than toilet related, it seemed pretty appropriate for a bowel disease fundraiser! So you get some temporary fencing, line mark a field and borrow a calf or two! You sell squares at $10 each and give the winner $500 – basically the square that the cow poo’s in first on the day is the winner.
We were a little nervous, as my calf seemed to have some performance anxiety. However, to the crowd’s applause she eventually decided to relieve herself. I also had a jumping castle, games for the kids, face painting, a mechanical bull ride, live music, ongoing raffles all afternoon. Approximately 200 people would have been there on the day. It was exhausting but a complete success.
My next fundraiser will be an online auction. My sister is a well-known artist and she has kindly offered to donate a painting (minimum bid $1,000) to paint a customised painting for the winner.
What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?
Educating others and raising awareness, I enjoy that aspect and really it almost feels selfish to say it but it is in my nature to help others so this feels good. Cow Poo Bingo day was exhausting, but when it all came together and the day was so brilliant, I would have to say it was my highlight for sure. Just the feeling that I am helping others with my illness is reward enough.
What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?
My biggest challenges have been time for one, having Crohn’s myself I get rather tired and I also work full time, so it’s hard to make the extra time to work on the training and fundraising.
The biggest challenge has been getting my fitness up to par. For those who don’t know, Crohn’s is completely unpredictable and in my case I also have arthritis due to Crohn’s and am susceptible to infections. I have just had to keep chipping away at the training and my dog loves the extra walks. The biggest trigger for my disease is stress, so I have tried at all times to stay calm.
Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?
Absolutely, other than physical fitness. I am enjoying the outdoors more than I have in years. But I have become much more confident in talking to people about bowel disease and excited about making a difference.
"Set realistic goals, if you are competing a challenge and also have health issues, know your limitations"
What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?
Make sure you manage your time well. Give yourself plenty of time to organise events and have a back-up plan. My Cow Poo Bingo day was rescheduled due to rain, but still worked out well. Set realistic goals. And if you are completing a challenge and also have health issues, know your limitations.
It is also a good idea to ask a friend or family member to help keep you motivated with your training, it is always nicer to go walking with someone else than on your own. And they can give you a little ‘push’ when you slacken off!
Become our Fundraiser of the Month to win a $50 donation to your fundraising page!
Take a picture whilst fundraising for your adventure and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with a fundraising focus will be our Fundraiser of the Month – it’s that easy!
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