Local organization raising funds and awareness for Crohn's disea - KMOV.com

Local organization raising funds and awareness for Crohn's disease

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The annual fundraiser raising money for a cure as well as a camp for kids with Crohn's disease. The annual fundraiser raising money for a cure as well as a camp for kids with Crohn's disease.

ST. LOUIS  (KMOV.com) – It is often called an invisible illness but more than 700,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease and a St. Louis organization is helping raise awareness to works towards finding a cure.

“It is an invisible illness and while most people look at me and say ‘wow you’ve had two kids, how do you stay so thin?’ I think to myself, wow, if you only knew,” explained Kelli Young, a mother of two. For 25 years, Young has battled the often-times debilitating condition of inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

“I was 18 years old, got diagnosed with Chron’s disease. Unfortunately it progressed where I have had three colon recessions,” she explained. But there's been major strides in her lifetime. In September researchers found new evidence that shows fungi might play a role in the cause of the disease. Information they hope one day might lead to a cure.

“It’s a manageable disease, it’s not a death sentence, but I think the hardest part is what you’re dealing with, bowels and people just don’t like talking about that stuff,” said Young.

Young volunteers with the Mid-America Chapter of Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. The hope is that through awareness they might one day find a cure. This Saturday is the annual Cashing out for Crohn’s Casino Night. The money will go towards research as well as supporting Camp Oasis, a camp specifically for kids with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Those kids, including Young’s own son who is beginning to show symptoms of the disease are what inspire her to volunteer.

“It makes me more involved with getting more awareness out there not only to help me and the thousands of others out there but now I’ve got this other generation that might be affected with it.”

If you want to learn more or attend Saturday’s benefit you can find the information here.

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