Friday, August 17, 2012

Awareness Walk for Gastroparesis: The Vision

If you haven't heard the news, I am hosting the first annual Awareness Walk for Gastroparesis on September 8th!  It's hard to beleive the big day is only a few weeks away.  The last several months have been packed with many adventures on my own journey and this has been a top priority.  It's shocking how much work is involved in putting on a fundraising event but worth every minute.

Our goal is to raise $10,000, with 100% proceeds going to a research fund specifically for gastropresis through the Digestive Health Alliance (DHA) and International Foundation for Functional Motility Disorders (IFFGD).  As of today we have already hit $1,425!

Just for a quick summary of what the event will look like...

We arrive early on a beautiful, sunny (cross your fingers for us!) Saturday morning at the Bellingham Farmers Market.  The market opens at 10am so we need enough time to set up the tables, registration, information/handouts, refreshments and prizes.  Handouts with informative details about motility disorders and GP will be provided through IFFGD and G-PACT, as well as myself/Journey with GP.  Refreshments include herbal teas (ginger!), fresh fruit and samples of macrobars from GoMacro.

The crowds will begin to flow through the market and line up at our tables to learn about us and how they can help.  By donating a minimum of $25 they can get a fun and funky, super soft American Apparel event t-shirt (example posted soon!) and then bid on the silent auction.

Items so far include:
  • Gift Baskets - Barleans, GoMacro and Shiloh Farms
  • $25 Terra Organica
  • 2 massages from Medical Massage and Wellness
  • 2 $15 gift certs to Fairhaven Runners
  • Quilt made by a local gastroparesis patient
  • Colorful knit hats
  • Bike tires from RoibaGear
  • Mountain Bike lesson from a certified coach
  • 3 months health coaching from Journey with Wellness
  • 30 Day Paleo Challenge ($150) from Kinsey Jackson
  • Dinner Entrees for Two to Anthony's at Squalicum Harbor or Anthony's Hearthfire Grill in Bellingham (a value of $50)

By noon, we are ready for the walk to begin!  It doesn't have to happen all at once, participants can make it leisuraly and enjoy the scenic route anytime between 12 and 2.  Just down the road begins the beautiful interurban trail that winds down through the trees, where it eventually opens up to Boulevard Park on the bay.  This will be half-way mark, with a check point table to refresh with tea and snacks or grab a beverage at Woods Coffee.  From here, we just make a loop and return back to the market, for a total of 3.4 miles.  

At 2pm, the silent auction winners will be announced.  We will collect contact information for whomever bids, so being present is not absolutely necessary.  Our local photographer will be around to capture the event as it unfolds so we can share the story through newsletters and publications, and of course right here!  By the time 2:30 arrives, we are ready to pack up and head home, smiles on our faces from the great turnout we had and having reached our $10K goal.  I will more than likely look forward to a nap at this point, haha.  

I will be putting together a gift basket from some of the donators (GoMacro, The Ginger People, etc) to auction off online to go to a GP patient.   Look for more details after the event.  

Help spread the word by sharing with everyone you know!  Here is what you can do:
Go to

- If local to the area, register for free and join us at the event.  

- Not local?  Here are some options:
1.  Make a donation towards the fund. 
2.  Email the donation page to your friends and family, where they can help make a difference.
3.  Share the link on FB or Twitter
4.  Gather pledges with a form I can send to you.
     Email me: and I can send you a copy to print.

I'll continue updates as things progress.  Wish us luck (and sunshine)!

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