In 2011, when my son was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease called Crohn’s disease, #MyGivingStory began. As a dad, in an effort to control any small part of something that was seemingly uncontrollable, I began running half marathons and marathons, completing triathlons, and cycling as far as 280 miles at a time to raise awareness and funds. I was determined that I would NOT let this disease win. Two years later, to focus on my family, my son’s health, and my new dedication to fundraising, I left my career. I mused that I had become a 'part-time stay-at-home-dad and full-time fundraiser,’ and from 2012 to 2015, the efforts of me and my family helped raise over $100,000.
#MyGivingStory, however, was only just beginning. Throughout my fundraising adventures, I met many new friends who were absolutely desperate for new treatments or cures. After realizing how little of my personal fundraising was actually supporting research, I founded a new charity that would allow me to raise funds exclusively for research, with every penny of my personal fundraising efforts going toward the mission, while empowering other adults and children to do the same. I began volunteering 100% of my time as President, and in 2016 I completed my first IRONMAN triathlon for the cause. Meanwhile, we have fundraisers as young as age 5 selling lemonade, an 85-year old who recently donated his birthday, and everything in-between! As an organization, I am proud to have helped raise over $300,000 for inflammatory bowel disease research in less than 2 years, and I am beyond grateful for the generosity of everyone who has helped make that possible. #MyGivingStory will never end, because I could never give enough of myself to help my friends and family in need, and to find cures for Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.