Team Faulty Pipes is back at it once again this year and with a new spruced up logo! Jackie and Liam have been asked to be one of this year's honored heroes - Mother/Son duo. Additionally, this year's walk is scheduled for what would have been our Nan's 100th birthday (Sunday, June 25). Coincidence? We think not! Needless to say, we have a great feeling about this year's Take Steps experience and we hope you will help us make this our biggest and best effort yet!
Most of you reading this probably already know our stories, but we will share a cliff note version for all of you who might not be aware. But the most important news to share: Jackie is seemingly still in remission but even more exciting, Liam is on a path we all believe will get him into remission soon!
At the age of 30, after a few years of not being well and playing the game of figuring it out, Jackie was diagnosed with severe Crohn's disease. She failed drug after drug, suffered major complications that ultimately became a life or death situation, spent years in major pain where she was unable to truly be the mother, wife, professional and friend that she once was. Thanks to her doctors and one of the best hospitals in the country, Jackie rebounded. She avoided surgery that seemed unavoidable, and learned how to give herself needles. She learned how to listen to her body, and landed into complete remission a couple years later. Her miracle drug is Humira. Yes, there have been side effects and other health complications along the way - maybe because of Humira, maybe not. But ultimately, Humira has given Jackie her true life back.
As the Gear family lived this new normal with Jackie navigating her lifelong diagnosis and things seemingly uneventful, madness erupted and Liam's diagnosis rocked our world.
In September 2020, Liam started with symptoms which had us believing off the bat that he was our newest IBD warrior. A few short weeks later his diagnosis was confirmed. A little bouncing between Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's diagnosis at first but we currently seem to have a Crohn's diagnosis. At 10 years old, he learned to grow up quickly. He suffered, he was scared, and when his first drug didn't work, fear set in at a different level. He was thin, he was pale. He was the type of kid you would look at and know there was something wrong. Liam is turning 13 this July and seems to have found a medication that works in Entivyo. We are so lucky to live in Philadelphia where we have easy access to amazing doctors and one of the best Children's Hospitals in the world. CHOP has him on track - infusions every 6 weeks, gaining weight, learning how to listen to his body, and learning how to cope with things like IVs, preps, bone problems and having multiple specialists to get him back to healthy. Things are moving in the right direction for Liam and we are anxiously awaiting results of his scopes which are scheduled for April 2023.
UPDATE!! Liam's scopes showed amazing progress!! In the past, doctors were unable to fully scope his intestines due to bleeding and inflammation but not this time! Liam was able to have full scopes done with very minimal active disease at the moment. This proves (what we have been praying for!!) that his treatment is working!! We cannot begin to describe just have happy, relived, and thankful we are in this moment. We know results can change quickly, and bumps will always be in his road, so we love to celebrate the highs!
We know finding a cure in the medical field for anything is nothing short of a miracle. We know cures take time, energy, smarts and monetary resources. We know our efforts with CCFA/Take Steps provides dollars necessary to keep the research going. Help us get Liam that cure in his lifetime.
Please consider supporting us this year and making this our best year yet. Any size donation matters and helps us reach our goal of $2,500. Want to join our team?! We would love to have you with us on the 25th as we address the crowd with our story.