Ali Feller, a Crohn's disease patient, speaks about her running blog and how it helped motivate her to stay fit despite the disease. She began her blog five years ago and she used it to document her workouts as she began to build her reader base. Her readers liked to follow along as she trained for different races and watched her progress online.
Ali had never written about Crohn's disease until she began to experience flare-ups and symptoms. This is when she thought it was important to write about it in her blog, Ali on the Run, because it was a big part of her life. Ali explains that it helped her a lot to talk about her disease as well. She says that by documenting the several things she has done to fight the disease has been a huge help to her, just by telling strangers something about herself that is very personal. With this, she connected with an entirely different set of people, and even better, she connected with other runners who have Crohn's disease, which ended up becoming her online support system.
Crohn's disease is not a disease most people feel comfortable speaking openly about. What Ali is hoping to achieve by blogging about Crohn's disease is creating a really open dialogue about it for the first time. There's a stigma around diseases like these with symptoms that most people are embarrassed to talk about, but what Ali would like is for people to speak up about their disease so more patients like them can learn more about Crohn's disease and so they can raise awareness about it to find a cure for this disease.
Ali never planned to be an advocate for Crohn's disease but it is important for her that her voice is heard because there is always going to be someone out there who can relate and who can learn from her personal experiences.