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After nearly a decade of relying on CCFA (The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America) for comfort, information, and hope, I am so excited about finally giving back. Our show on Sunday, August 14, Guitars for Guts: A Benefit Concert for the CCFA, will raise funds for this non-profit organization that has long been an indispensable resource for IBD patients, their families and their friends. When I was first diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, I turned to CCFA to learn about my disease, to find a support network of other patients, and to read about the latest in IBD research funded by this very altruistic organization. Because of the research funded by CCFA, I will not have to live with an ostomy bag for the rest of my life. And it was because of CCFA that I have been able to find my support network of other young women that have undergone total colectomies. And let me tell you, I don't know how I would have made it through these tough times without them. In fact, when CCFA heard about my surgeries, they had a wonderfully optimistic and supportive young woman reach out to me. She calmed my nerves and assured me that I would one day soon lead a very fulfilling and healthy life.
As most of you have heard by now, our fundraiser on the 14th of August will feature ROADS band from Montreal, Canada and The Alphabets from Brooklyn. A third band will also be announced very soon. Both ROADS and The Alphabets have been touched by these diseases on a very personal level. Iris Campo, the drummer and backup singer for ROADS, survived a dreadful complication of Ulcerative Colitis last year, toxic megacolon. Iris was given 2 hours to decide whether to undergo a total colectomy. If she had opted out of this surgery she would have inevitably suffered from peritonitis, an often-deadly infection of the abdominal cavity. Three surgeries and almost a year later, Iris was able to sit at her drum-set and live out her dream of playing for ROADS record-launch show.
My brother, Mark, is the lead guitarist and singer of The Alphabets. Despite a healthy fear of the grotesque, Mark has managed to be by my side many-a-time in the hospital and has often served as my voice when I didn't have one. Being only one year apart and sharing a similar network of high school and college friends, Mark would often have to explain why I would fall off the face of the earth for up to 6 months at a time. It was not until these surgeries that I learned that my disease is not something to be ashamed of. It may have taken nine years to find that voice, but for a long time I was that sketchy girl that couldn't leave the house for many months at a time for no "apparent" good reason. Thanks to Mark, I haven't lost those friends.
In conclusion, I am grateful for all that CCFA has done for me these last 10 years and I am excited about what CCFA can do for the million+ men, women, children and infants that suffer chronically from Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. I want mothers to be able to care for their children. I want more kids to spend their summers at the beach, not in the hospital and I want more young women to be able to plan their own weddings without having to worry about whether they will be able to attend. I want a cure.
With your help, we can attain these goals. Please come out on August 14th to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to not only enjoy a kick-ass show of amazing musicians, but to also help us find a cure for these debilitating diseases. If you cannot attend the show, please consider being there "in spirit" by making a monetary contribution of any size to our fundraiser here (100% of these proceeds will go directly to CCFA). I thank you with all of my heart in advance for your support. And please tell your friends!!