Ali Feller, a Crohn’s disease patient, speaks about her running blog and how it helped motivate her to stay fit despite the disease.
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.
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I started my blog,
Ali on the Run, five years ago.
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When I started blogging,
it was all about running.
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I loved documenting it,
I would write about my workouts.
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And it started to gain a little traction,
and I got some readers, and
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people followed along as I trained for
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I had never written about Crohn's disease.
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When I got to the point that I was
experiencing flare-ups and symptoms,
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it was like, all right,
well this is a part of my life.
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I never questioned whether or
not to share.
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It's helped me learn how
to talk about my disease.
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It's not a pity party it never
has been and I'm not a doctor so
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I'm not out there giving advice to people
it's strictly this is my story this is
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my life with Crohn's disease,
this is how I'm treating it.
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This is what I've tried, this is
what works, this is what doesn't and
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I'm sharing something with
people that's entirely personal.
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I connected with an entirely
different set of people.
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But even more amazing is I connected with
a lot of runners who have Crohn's disease
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and either were struggling with it or
found success in some way with it.
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And that to me was a huge surprise and
a really welcome one.
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I found that people are really vocal
about a lot of different diseases,
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which is great.
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But Crohn's disease has
never been one of them.
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What I'm hoping to achieve by
blogging openly about Crohn's
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disease is creating
a really open dialogue.
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Because there's a stigma around
these certain bathroom diseases.
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The more people talking
about this disease,
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the more people who understand it, the
more people who are compassionate for it.
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More people will eventually be working and
finding a cure for this disease.
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I was never planning to be an advocate for
Crohn's disease, but
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it's important for
me to make my voice heard,
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because there's going to be
someone out there who can relate.
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Ali, I am proud of you for everything
you've accomplished in your entire life.
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I'm proud of you for being so strong,
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to work through everything
that life has thrown at you.
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And I know no matter how tough it
ever gets we're gonna be there for
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each other and that you're gonna be
there with that smile no matter what.
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Some day I will run a marathon and
Crohn's disease will have a cure.
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In the meantime, I feel very fortunate to
have lots of little mini cures working for
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me made up of everyone who
gets to share my passion.
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And gets to see an Ali that isn't
the Ali with Crohn's disease.
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They bring so much life to me
on my good days and my bad ones.