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Honored Heroes share their stories to let other patients know they are not alone on their journeys — because no one should face the challenges and uncertainty of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in isolation. Through their stories, Honorees raise awareness of these diseases, raise funds to support the Foundation’s mission and inspire hope in those living with IBD.

To nominate a Take Steps Honoree, please complete this form.

Damian gonzalez moncada

Damian was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease when he was two years old. He had a surgery to remove his colon and had an ostomy bag for six years. When he was eight, he had a surgery to reconnect his small intestine and he no longer needed the ostomy. Damian spent a lot of time in the hospital, including one, eight-month long hospital stay. At the beginning, he was losing a lot of blood and needed twice daily transfusions. It was very hard for him, and also for his family. When he was two, he started seeing Dr. Caroline Hall at Children's Hospital, and his mom, Luisa, says they couldn't have made it without Dr. Hall. As Damian says, if he needs anything, she'll be there "ASAP." She teaches herself to provide the best care, not just for Damian, but for everyone. Damian is excited to share his story at the Take Steps walk this year, and he feels really honored to be chosen to be a part of the walk. As of right now, he's found a treatment that works for him, after trying so many that didn't. He's a healthy, happy, active, ten-and-a-half year old boy, and he's very thankful to be healthy. When he grows up, he wants to become a doctor at Children's Hospital so he can help other kids like him.

Dr. caroline Hall

I am a pediatric gastroenterologist and physician scientist at Children's Hospital Colorado, and I am excited to participate in Take Steps this year because it is my honor and privilege to take care of our amazing pediatric IBD patients. I received my PhD studying the immune system and knew from this experience that I was fascinated by the difficult job of the GI tract to be in contact withe bacteria and food all day without causing inflammation in most people. It made me want to work to understand how this system is altered in our patients with inflammatory diseases like IBD. In addition to this interest, my medical experience has impressed upon me how remarkable and resilient our IBD patients are. As pediatric gastroenterologists, we are lucky to be able to watch children grow up and help them stay as healthy as possible so that their chronic illness can be in the background as they thrive. However, IBD can be very difficult to treat, and I know that there are times when our medical understanding and treatment options fall short. That is the reason that I continue to work in the laboratory to better understand the disease and bring these findings to provide better care to my patients. It is also why I enjoy organizing the educational programs at the Children's Hospital Colorado IBD Center, in order to bring our best evidence-based understanding to our patients and patient families. I continue to learn so much from our patients and I hope to continue to work collaboratively in the care and study of IBD to help our patients to lead their best lives.

matt brodahl

Please join me on a journey of hope and support at the Take Steps Walk on June 1, in benefit of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. My family has been participating in this walk for 9 years now.  In our first year though - it was just my wife and our oldest daughter, who was 1 at the time.  I was at home and too sick to get off the couch to attend.  As someone who has endured the challenges of Ulcerative Colitis for many years, I understand the critical importance of advancing research and providing care for those affected. This event is more than just a walk; it's a collective stride towards a future free from the burdens of these debilitating diseases. Together, we can make a significant impact, offering not just our steps, but also our hearts in support of this vital cause. Your participation means more research, more support, and more hope. Let's walk together, make a difference, and step closer to a cure. Join us in this meaningful endeavor—because every step counts!

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