On June 14, I will be walking with my family in the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s Take Steps walk in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in memory of my much-loved and much-missed cousin Michelle, who passed away in January from Crohn’s complications.
For anyone unfamiliar with Crohn’s, it’s a chronic inflammatory condition of the GI tract. In my cousin’s case, Crohn’s was just one of the many illnesses she was dealing with … and, after battling for 22 of her 31 years on Earth, her body just couldn’t handle anymore; on January 25, she passed away.
In addition to her loving family and friends, Michelle also left behind her beloved husband Anthony, who is one of the most amazing men you will ever meet. Anthony and Michelle started dating when she was 17 or 18 (I can’t remember) — but he knew what she was up against, and he stuck by her through thick and thin, proving every word they exchanged in their wedding vows. To love and to cherish. In sickness and in health. In good times and in bad. In life and in death.
I can’t bring Michelle back, but I can help her memory live on and help others — including one of my best friends, who also has Crohn’s. So together, she and I and our families (and whoever else wants to join) will be walking in memory of Michelle.
Thanks to the generosity of so many, I’ve already raised more than half of my $500 goal (all in the initial 24 hours since I shared the link on Facebook!). But of course, I am aiming high. So if you are interested in donating to the cause, please check out my fundraising link here.
There is no amount too small to make a difference and I appreciate every penny.
And Michelle, wherever you are … you are so loved, and so very missed.