SOURCE: The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)

November 12, 2013 12:12 ET

13.1 Miles 5 Years in a Row Raises $20M for Crohn's and Colitis Research

What Happens in Vegas Changes Lives With the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's Endurance Training and Fundraising Program Team Challenge

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - November 12, 2013) - The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's Team Challenge is thrilled to be celebrating its fifth anniversary as the official charity partner of the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon taking place on Sunday November 17, 2013.

Since 2009, over 4,000 runners and walkers from 47 different chapters across the country will have donned the orange and blue for this premiere nighttime running event, raising $20M during that time. The remarkable progress of the past five years has given the Foundation novel therapies that can improve the quality of life for IBD patients and their families and paradigm-shifting science that could lead to different approaches to the treatment of IBD. 

"The future is very bright," says Jim Lewis, MD, MSCE, Chair, National Scientific Advisory Committee. "It is exciting that we could have multiple effective medications with different mechanisms of action. This is great news for patients, since we know that not everyone responds to the same medications. It is exhilarating to think that sometime soon our most important challenge will be to learn how to best use the therapies that we have available."

Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affects nearly 1 in 200 people. They are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive track, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). The physical and emotional toll of the disease can be devastating. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss.

"Our ultimate goal remains finding cures for all forms of IBD" says Craig Comins, Team Challenge National Director. "Our partnership with Rock 'n' Roll at this amazing night race has not only increased awareness of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis but it also has enabled us to raise significant research dollars." This year, Team Challenge is sending 600 runners and walkers from around the country and has collectively raised an estimated $2.3M. 

There are five legacy participants running with Team Challenge for the fifth year in a row at the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas event including Karen Clark, a Mentor from Team Long Island, Dean Young from Brazil, Indiana, Dewey Thom, a Mentor from CCFA's Northern California Chapter and Deanna Paquette from host city Team Las Vegas. "Joining Team Challenge has truly been a life changing experience for my husband and I," said Paquette. "Not only have we made lifelong friends and vastly improved our health, but most importantly, we have had a positive impact on those who suffer from IBD." 

For those interested in making a general donation towards Team Challenge to further CCFA's mission at the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2 Marathon on November 17th, please visit

About The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America:

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the leading organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's and colitis are debilitating medically incurable digestive diseases that affect 1 in 200 Americans, including 150,000 children nationwide. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and fatigue. CCFA raises critical dollars for breakthrough research, public and professional education, and patient support services in communities across the nation, helping patients to live more fulfilling lives. Learn more about Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and CCFA at

About Team Challenge

Team Challenge is the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's endurance training and fundraising program. Through Team Challenge, you can run or walk 13.1 miles or train for a triathlon at one of our great destination races while helping to find a cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans. For more information on Team Challenge, please visit to register today!

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