Our team is growing…and we have special guests!

It is truly so hard to believe how quickly this year is moving. Somehow we are already under two months away from the 2022 Colfax Marathon Weekend, May 14-15th!

I’m about to start week 3 of my half marathon training plan and it has been a reminder of how much I love this Running for Nana team and also of how glad I am to have several more weeks before race day…

That’s also why I’m writing today! Our 2022 Running for Nana Team continues to grow for the Colfax Marathon Weekend! And, we would absolutely LOVE to have YOU on our team as we join with Achieving Cures Together (ACT) to fight back against C. difficile! And don’t worry, you don’t have to run a marathon! You don’t even have to run at all. There are several options to choose from:

RaceMilesThe Good Stuff
5K3.1Walk/run/handcycle, Stroller, and dog friendly
Urban 10 Miler10Picks up on the last 10 miles of the marathon course
Marathon RelayvariesA 5-person relay, with distances ranging from 4 to 6.5 miles
Half Marathon13.1Runs through the Denver Zoo, a Denver Fire Station, by the Capitol and several other Denver spots
Marathon26.2Runs through Mile High Stadium, around Sloan’s Lake, and through stunning west Denver

If you’re ready to sign up, simply visit the Colfax Registration page, choose the race you’d like to participate in, and select Achieving Cures Together as your Charity Partner! Please let me know if you have any questions. Register by April 13th at 11:59 pm to get the lowest registration rates!

Additionally, I am THRILLED to announce that we will have some very special guests joining us this year from Minnesota for Saturday of the race weekend!

Dr. Alexander Khoruts, Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Khoruts is a key faculty member at the U of M’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP), and the person that first made me aware of the intestinal microbiota transplantation (IMT). I am so grateful for the work that Dr. Khoruts has spearheaded in C. difficile research and am so grateful that he will also be able to join us this year in Colorado!

Christie Lansdowne, Executive Director of Achieving Cures Together. Many of you met Christie and her mom at the race in October, 2021! We are so thrilled that she can join us again this year.

Peter Westerhaus, Founder and President of Achieving Cures Together. Many of you met Peter in previous years at our post-5K event. Peter started ACT after experiencing the devastating impacts of C. difficile and other similar conditions.

Our post-5K event will also get a bit of an upgrade this year! We will meet at Grandma’s House Brewery from 11-1 on Saturday, May 14th for food, conversation, and celebration of the incredible work that Achieving Cures Together continues to do every day to help end C. difficile! We will send out an invitation soon, but please save the date as we would love to have you join us!

2021 Wrap-Up and 2022 Kick-Off

Hello, dear Running for Nana Community!

What a joy it was to gather in person with so many of you in October to Run for Nana and Achieving Cures Together (ACT) at the Colfax Marathon Weekend! We were also so delighted to welcome Christie Lansdowne, Executive Director of ACT, to Colorado!

This post has been a long time coming, and I am so thrilled to be writing to you today. When Running for Nana started in 2016, we had just lost our beloved Nana to C. diff in August 2015 after an incredible fight. I was searching for a way to cope with, process, and fight back against this awful infection in the hopes that others might not have the same experience as Nana. I could not have imagined what this community has become, and I am so deeply honored and grateful to each and every one of you for bringing this community to life.

Through our 2021 race, the Running for Nana community raised over $15,000 for ACT and the fight against C. difficile. That means that since Running for Nana started in 2016, this team has raised over $100,000, supporting the advancement of cures and treatments for C. difficile and many other conditions. All of these funds have gone directly to ACT and the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP) – two leaders in C. difficile research.

Specifically, you helped make the following advancements possible:

  • Over 1,000 patients have been cured from recurrent C. difficile infections – all at no cost to the patient. ONE THOUSAND people who got to have more time with their loved ones.
  • Supplied intestinal microbiota therapeutics (IMT) to clinical trials around the country, targeting:
    • C. difficile Infections Multi-Center Trial (Veterans Administration Medical System)
    • C. difficile Infections Clinical Treatment Registry (University of Minnesota, Indiana University, Brown University, Harvard University)
    • Autism (Arizona State University)
    • Pitt-Hopkins Disease (Arizona State University)
    • Ulcerative Colitis (University of Minnesota)
    • Advanced Liver Disease (Richmond VA & Virginia Commonwealth University)
    • Complications of Bone Marrow Transplantation (University of Minnesota)
    • Complications of Intensive Chemotherapy for Acute Leukemia (University of Minnesota)
    • Immuno-oncology (University of Minnesota)
    • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (University of Minnesota)
  • The MTP developed capsules of the IMT treatment, making it more accessible to fight recurrent C. difficile. This meant that the treatment no longer had to be delivered via a colonoscopy-like procedure and instead, could be taken as a simple capsule.

None of this would have been possible without you. Thank you SO much for being a part of this journey, I cannot wait to see where it goes next!

And speaking of next, the 2022 Colfax Marathon Weekend is rapidly approaching, May 14-15, 2022! I will write again soon with more details, but we would LOVE to have you as part of our team! You can choose the race that suits you best: the 5K, 10 mile, half marathon (13.1 miles), full marathon (26.2 miles), or marathon relay (5 person relay with distances ranging from 4 to 6.5 miles). Walkers, hand-cyclers, strollers, and dogs welcome in the 5K!

If you are ready to sign up, simply visit the Colfax Registration page, choose the race you’d like to participate in, and select Achieving Cures Together as your Charity Partner. Please let me know if you have any questions!! 

Now, all that said, I completely understand if running isn’t your thing. If you still want to “Run for Nana” and fight against C. diff, we will be raising funds again this year to directly support Achieving Cures Together and their fight against C. diff and other awful conditions. Please visit the link below if you would like to make a donation! Mailing address on website as well.

ACT Fundraising Page Link: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon.

Thank you again for all of your support, love, and generosity. Let’s keep the fight going against C. difficile!

All my love,

Emily

We Run for Nana this weekend!!

2019 Running for Nana Team!

This weekend, the Running for Nana team will gather together at the Colfax Marathon Weekend to support Achieving Cures Together (ACT) and their remarkable fight against C. difficile!! I absolutely cannot wait to see our team participate in the half marathon, 10-miler, and 5K races – I’ll be in 10 mile too! 

We will also have an Achieving Cures Together tent in Charity Village at the finish line! Christie Lansdowne, Executive Director of ACT, is flying in from Minnesota to be with us, and will be at our tent to meet everyone!! We are so grateful that Christie can join us. 

As many of you know, since 2016, we’ve partnered with ACT and Dr. Khoruts from the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP) – two of the leaders in C. difficile research. Because of the generosity of each of you through philanthropic support, we’ve raised ~$93,000 in the fight to end C. difficile since Running for Nana started! This year, our goal is to pass the $100,000 mark. Thank you SO much to everyone who has already donated and helped us move toward our goal! 

If you would like to help us reach this goal, please visit the ACT Fundraising Linkhttps://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon

To date, these donations have significantly helped to advance the fight against C. difficile:

  • Over 800 patients with recurrent C. diff that could not be cured with standard antibiotics have been successfully treated (98% success rate) at the University of MN through the intestinal microbiota transplantation (IMT) procedure – all at no cost to the patient.
  • The MTP developed capsules of the IMT treatment, making it more accessible to fight recurrent C. diff.
  • The team has increased their ability to provide the capsules for critical clinical trials. All therapeutic microbiota is manufactured in accordance with pharmaceutical protocols.
  • There are five active research trials utilizing the treatment including the MATCH Trial, which is a multi-center, placebo-controlled study at the VA. This is the largest study of its kind. The team continues to explore uses for the treatment beyond C. diff, and the other active trials are for patients with advanced liver disease, autism, ulcerative colitis, and intensive chemotherapy. 

This progress would not have been possible without each of you, and I cannot thank you enough for being a part of these advancements! I know Nana would be thrilled to know that fewer people have had to suffer the awful effects of C. difficile.

I’ll send another update after our weekend is complete. Thank you again for being a part of this adventure!

This one’s for you, Nan!

Our Running for Nana team continues to grow – and we’d love to have YOU!

Greetings, all!

I’m not exactly sure how the time has passed so quickly, but somehow it’s already September and we can officially say that the Colfax Marathon Weekend is next month!

Our 3rd Annual Running for Nana team has already grown to 21 people! I cannot wait to join you in support of Achieving Cures Together and the fight to end C. difficile on October 16th and 17th.

If you would like to join our team, I would absolutely LOVE to have you. And, there’s no time like the present! By September 13th, if we have just 8 more Saturday runners (Half Marathon, Marathon/Relay, or 10-mile) or 16 5K runners – or a combination thereof – we will once again have a Charity Partner tent in Charity Village on Race Weekend (picture below from our 2019 team)! All of the details on how to sign up are in the previous blog post, linked here.

Also, I completely understand if running isn’t your thing. If you still want to “Run for Nana” and fight against C. diff, we are raising funds again this year to directly support Achieving Cures Together and their fight against C. diff and other awful conditions.

As many of you know, since 2016, we’ve partnered with ACT and Dr. Khoruts from the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP) – two of the leaders in C. difficile research. Because of the generosity of each of you through philanthropic support, we’ve raised ~$93,000 in the fight to end C. difficile since Running for Nana started! This year, our goal is to pass the $100,000 mark. If you would like to help us reach this goal, please visit the ACT Fundraising Page Link: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon.

To date, these donations have significantly helped to advance the fight against C. difficile:

  • Over 800 patients with recurrent C. diff that could not be cured with standard antibiotics have been successfully treated (98% success rate) at the University of MN through the intestinal microbiota transplantation (IMT) procedure – all at no cost to the patient.
  • The MTP developed capsules of the IMT treatment, making it more accessible to fight recurrent C. diff.
  • The team has increased their ability to provide the capsules for critical clinical trials. All therapeutic microbiota is manufactured in accordance with pharmaceutical protocols.
  • There are five active research trials utilizing the treatment including the MATCH Trial, which is a multi-center, placebo-controlled study at the VA. This is the largest study of its kind. The team continues to explore uses for the treatment beyond C. diff, and the other active trials are for patients with advanced liver disease, autism, ulcerative colitis, and intensive chemotherapy.

This progress would not have been possible without each of you, and I cannot thank you enough for being a part of these advancements! Nana would be thrilled to know that fewer people have had to suffer the awful effects of C. difficile.

Sending you all a great big hug – I hope to see you in October!

3rd Annual Running for Nana Team Kickoff! [Registration prices increase June 30th at 11:59 PM!]

Greetings, all! I hope this post finds you and your loved ones safe and well during this wild year+.

At the beginning of 2020, we anticipated we would be together as the 3rd Annual Running for Nana team in the Colfax Marathon Weekend to support Achieving Cures Together (ACT) and their fight against C. difficile. Of course, we all know how different 2020 was than anyone had expected.

Despite not being able to gather in person, you all still showed up in so many ways. We had our first Virtual Run for Nana, and heard from Dr. Alexander Khoruts, Peter Westerhaus, and Christie Lansdowne about the incredible work that ACT is doing to put an end to C. difficile. Many of you even completed a virtual run, walk, or handcycle for Nana! I know she was with us every step of the way last year, as always.

As many of you know, since 2016, we’ve partnered with ACT and Dr. Khoruts from the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP) – two of the leaders in C. difficile research. Including funds raised through the Virtual Run and through the end of 2020, we’ve now raised nearly $95,000 for the MTP and ACT since Running for Nana started. WOW. Thanks to the generosity of so many through philanthropic support:

  • Over 800 patients with recurrent C. diff that could not be cured with standard antibiotics have been successfully treated (98% success rate) at the University of MN through the intestinal microbiota transplantation (IMT) procedure – all at no cost to the patient.
  • The MTP developed capsules of the IMT treatment, making it more accessible to fight recurrent C. diff.
  • The team has increased their ability to provide the capsules for critical clinical trials. All therapeutic microbiota is manufactured in accordance with pharmaceutical protocols.
  • There are five active research trials utilizing the treatment including the MATCH Trial, which is a multi-center, placebo-controlled study at the VA. This is the largest study of its kind. The team continues to explore uses for the treatment beyond C. diff, and the other active trials are for patients with advanced liver disease, autism, ulcerative colitis, and intensive chemotherapy.

This progress would not have been possible without each of you, and I cannot thank you enough for being a part of these advancements!

So…that brings us to 2021!

I am thrilled to share that the Colfax Marathon Weekend will be held in person, October 15-17, 2021! And, I would love to invite you to join our 3rd Annual Running for Nana Team to support Achieving Cures Together and fight back against C. difficile! Our team is already 18 people strong and growing, and we would be delighted if you would be on our team.

And don’t worry – you don’t have to run a marathon! There are 5 races of varying lengths to choose from. An overview of each is below, and detailed information for all races can be found at: https://www.runcolfax.org/races/

RaceMilesThe Good Stuff
5K
(Sunday 10/17)
3.1Walk/run/handcycle, stroller, and dog friendly
Urban 10 Miler (Saturday 10/16)10Picks up on the last 10 miles of the marathon course through Empower Field, Confluence, and Downtown!
Marathon Relay (Saturday 10/16)VariesA 5-person relay, with distances ranging from 4 to 6.5 miles
Half Marathon (Saturday 10/16)13.1A new course in 2021! You still run through the Denver Zoo and a fire station, but the course this year will primarily take you west on Colfax instead of east.  
Marathon
(Saturday 10/16)
26.2Runs through Empower Field at Mile High, around Sloan’s Lake, and through stunning west Denver

To register, simply click this link and choose the race that works best for you! Once in the registration page, just click “Yes” to “Raising Funds or Awareness for a Charity” and then select Achieving Cures Together (ACT) from the drop-down menu that appears. Please let me know if you have trouble signing up for the team.

**Note: The prices for registration increase on Wednesday, June 30th at 11:59 pm. Now is the best time to register!

Now, all that said, I completely understand if running isn’t your thing. If you still want to “Run for Nana” and fight against C. diff, we will be raising funds again this year to directly support Achieving Cures Together and their fight against C. diff and other awful conditions. Please visit the link below if you would like to make a donation!

ACT Fundraising Page Link: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be in touch soon and hope to see you in October!

Thank you!

IMG_9298

As of last Saturday afternoon, our first ever Virtual Run for Nana and Achieving Cures Together is in the books!

It’s no secret that I absolutely cherish the Colfax Marathon weekend. And, though I completely understand and support the need to postpone the event, I was definitely disappointed when we learned that we wouldn’t be together under the ACT tent in City Park this May. But, I never could have imagined that a virtual event would fill me with so much energy, joy, and hope. Thank you so much for making a virtual community possible!

A huge thank you to our special guests, Peter Westerhaus, Christie Lansdowne, and Dr. Alexander Khoruts for joining us and sharing such important and pertinent information about ACT and the continued pursuit of cures for C. diff and other conditions at the University of Minnesota. I really believe that because of their dedicated work, there will be a day when people no longer suffer from C. diff in the way that Nana did. What an extraordinary day that will be!

If you were unable to join the event but would like to watch the recording, please visit this link (forgot to record until a couple minutes in, but almost all of it is here!): https://photos.app.goo.gl/1LtG6bYg1VEjLxxb6

IMG_9314And, because it was the Colfax Marathon weekend, after all, Ian and I completed our half marathon race on Sunday. Not the Colfax course (it’s much more hilly around our house, which was…interesting) and certainly strange to have to remind yourself to keep a 6 foot distance from other people on the trail, but it was still very special.

Also, we participated in the ACT Scavenger Hunt throughout our race! If you run/walk/handcycle any distance (even just an evening walk around the neighborhood!), take a selfie with any of the items listed at the bottom of this blog and post it to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #ACTrunnersfornana – you’ll be entered to win a prize!IMG_9347

Finally, if you would like to “run” for Nana by donating to Achieving Cures Together, here is the donation link: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon.

I will keep you posted with the winners of our scavenger hunt, as well as updates on our fundraising progress and any new race updates. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for making this possible. Great big virtual hugs to all!

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 4.17.17 PM

Please join us for the Virtual Run for Nana!

Whole Team

Greetings, and happy Saturday!

I hope this post finds you safe, healthy, and well as can be in the midst of these challenging times.

I’m writing today to invite you to join us for the first ever Virtual Run for Nana and Achieving Cures Together (ACT) Appreciation Event to end C. difficile! While we hope to be together for a rescheduled Colfax Marathon Weekend in the fall, we are SO grateful for the opportunity to creatively gather for celebration, appreciation, community, and hope. [PLUS! There are special guests!]

When is the event and who can come?

The virtual zoom event is on Saturday, May 16th from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. You are ALL invited, along with any of your friends and family! Please feel free to invite others.

So what are we going to do at a virtual event?

Don’t worry – you don’t have to run! [Unless you want to, in which case we’ll share fun ways to complete your run and connect with ACT!] At the event, you’ll hear how ACT and the Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP) at the University of Minnesota are pioneering critical research in the fight to end C. difficile and other awful conditions. And of course, we’ll share about our special Nana and why we’ve spent the last 5 years running in celebration of her.

You said something about special guests??

YES! A silver lining of doing a virtual event is that we will have three special guests:

  • Peter WesterhausFounder of ACT
  • Christie LansdowneExecutive Director of ACT
  • Dr. Alexander KhorutsMedical Director of the Microbiota Therapeutics Program at the University of Minnesota

Peter Westerhaus founded ACT in 2017 after experiencing C. diff firsthand. Christie Lansdowne joined ACT in 2019 as the Executive Director and continues to drive ACT forward by supporting the treatment of patients with C. diff and continuing to push for cures. And Dr. Alexander Khoruts has been at the cutting edge of research on C. difficile to help end this terrible infection and others like it. Thanks to his research, over 590 individuals have been cured of recurrent C. difficile. We are thrilled that Dr. Khoruts can join us and share more about the current work that his team is focusing on, including responses to COVID-19.

Can’t wait – how do I sign up?!

If you are able to join us for this special event, please let me know and I’ll send you the zoom link for the event!

Thank you so much for being a part of this community. I can’t tell you how much your continual support, love, and joy means to me. I hope to “see” you on Saturday, May 16th!

Love,

Emily

Running for Nana COVID-19 Update

Whole Team

Greetings – wishing you all health and safety as we navigate this very strange and difficult time.

You may have already seen this in your email, but in light of the continuously changing circumstances regarding COVID-19, the Colfax Marathon has today officially cancelled the race weekend on May 16-17th. Though it is of course disappointing that we will not be able to convene together in May, we completely understand and are very grateful to the race organizers for taking the necessary but challenging steps to keep each of us safe.

As mentioned in the message, the organizers are working with the City of Denver in hopes of rescheduling the race to sometime in fall 2020. Understandably, because so many events have been impacted by this pandemic and circumstances continue to change on what seems like an hourly basis, decisions on rescheduling will not be made until the end of April or later. We will keep you updated as new information becomes available, and greatly appreciate your patience and flexibility as we move ahead.

In the midst of these challenging times, Achieving Cures Together’s purpose remains the same – to support the treatment of patients with C. diff and continue pushing the microbiome research frontier for cures. And so, we are approaching this change in plans as an opportunity for creativity, physically-distanced-togetherness, and hope. I will send another update soon as we decide how we will “Run for Nana” this year. If you can, keep May 16th penciled in on your calendar for a potential virtual event – thank goodness for technology!

Most importantly, I hope that you, your loved ones, and your communities are safe and healthy. Thank you so much for being part of our Running for Nana community, and for supporting Achieving Cures Together in the fight against C. diff. The Colfax Marathon is one of my favorite weekends every year, and you make it all possible. Running for Nana will look different this year, but we’ll do all we can to make it just as special. More to come soon, but please feel free to reach out in the meantime with any questions or concerns. Love you all!

Emily

Who are we running for?

Greetings and Happy Tuesday!

IMG_8756I’m not exactly sure where the time has gone, but somehow it’s already March. Not sure where you’re reading this from, but the weather this week in Colorado is perfect for running outside, which is lovely. [This picture was from yesterday’s run.] It’s been a jam packed (and fulfilling) winter quarter of grad school, but it’s soon coming to a close and I’m so excited to write you today.

We already have 32 PEOPLE on our 3rd Annual Running for Nana team!! I cannot wait to join with you May 16th-17th to Run for Nana in support of Achieving Cures Together and their tireless fight to end C. difficile. Our fundraising has also begun, and we’ve already raised over $650! THANK YOU to everyone who has already joined our team and/or donated – we truly couldn’t do this without you and are so grateful for you!

If you’d like to join our team, we would LOVE to have you, and there’s no time like the present to register because rates increase at 11:59 PM tomorrow (3/11/20). All the registration information can be found here. Also, if running isn’t your thing but you’d still like to participate, I invite you to visit our team Achieving Cures Together fundraising page here!

Who are you running for?

This is a question I’ve written in at the bottom of my race training calendar each month. I’m going for a personal record this year in the half marathon, and this question has been a way to refocus and re-energize on tough training days. If I remember that I’m running for my Nana, it’s a lot easier to put in the work.

Whole TeamIn that same vein, I’ve been reflecting on how much our team has grown since we first started in 2016. I am so grateful for and inspired by the growing support for this adventure and the fight to end C. diff. I realize that many folks who are now part of our RFN family never met Nana, which makes it all the more extraordinary that they’ve joined in the fight. Though we are Running for Nana to help end the infection that took her life, her life was so much more than the months that she fought C. diff. Therefore, I thought I would use today’s blog post to share her story.

Nana grew up during the Great Depression on a small farm in Minerva, OH, where she lived with her mom, brother, and grandfather – her hero and best friend. They lived without electricity until she was 6 and without indoor plumbing until after she graduated high school. Nana worked incredibly hard throughout her life, and prioritized her family above everything else. There is so much about her life pre-grandkids that I would love to share, but for sake of brevity, I will I skip to the part that I know best! (And if you’re at our house sometime, you’re welcome to read her autobiography!).

16d - 1993 Nana, Abbe and EmilyShortly before Abbe (my older sister and her other grandchild) was born, she packed up her life and bravely moved from Ohio to Colorado. Joan became “Nana” and our closest friend and companion. She took care of us while our parents were at work, and if you asked her, she’d tell you this was “the BEST job” she ever had. Through phone calls, sleepovers at her house, target runs, and a myriad of concerts, holidays, and events, we had the immense privilege to spend almost every day with her in some way.

HOQI1798She and our mom, Kim, were the best of friends, and she always wanted to be wherever “her girls” were. When Abbe and I went to college in Minnesota, she learned how to text, email, and work the computer (and an iPad!) to keep in touch, and made several trips to visit us in MN as well. She kept up with her friends and family through frequent phone calls, letters, weekly hair appointments, and lunch dates. She enjoyed watching musicals, mystery shows, and Lawrence Welk, and was an avid lover of sports cars.

In January 2015, Nana was diagnosed with lung cancer. She began chemo and (later) radiation at the age of 83 because she wasn’t about to let cancer get in her way. The treatment and side effects were very physically and mentally challenging, but yet she was rarely too tired to chat with loved ones or make time for a good movie (The Music Man was her personal favorite).

In May 2015, in the midst of her cancer treatment, she contracted C. diff. Over the next three months, Nana showed immense strength and courage as she rallied time and again to beat this awful infection. After an incredible fight, we lost our beautiful Nana on August 17, 2015.

She spent her life caring for the people she loved and in so doing, taught us how to love each other. It’s with immense gratitude that we miss her every day, knowing that we will always learn new lessons from her stories, laughter, and life.

I truly believe that because of the work that Achieving Cures Together is doing, there will be a day when people no longer suffer from the awful consequences of C. diff, and until that day, I’ll keep running. I would love to know what motivates you to keep running, too!

Thanks for reading (or re-reading!) a bit about our special Nana, and thanks again for being a part of this adventure. Will write again soon!

19q - 2013 Wedding - Emily, Kim, Tom, Abbe, Aaron and Nana

We’re off to the races for the 3rd Annual Running for Nana Team!

Happy 2020! I hope this post finds you healthy and happy in the new year.

I am so excited to be writing to you today. I’ve been reflecting so much on this past year, as well as the past four years of Running for Nana. Because of you, a dream to run a marathon, celebrate my Nana, and fight back against C. difficile became a reality and has transformed into something I could never have imagined. Here are some of the highlights from last year alone.

Whole Team

Peter and Emily

In 2019, 38 people joined our Second Annual Achieving Cures Together team at the Colfax Marathon weekend to “Run for Nana” and fight back against C. difficile, plus many more who came to cheer everyone on. Folks joined us from Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Minnesota, including the founder of ACT, Peter Westerhaus, who ran the 10-mile race! By some great coincidence, Peter and I finished our races right around the same time.

The team grew so much last year that we qualified for our very own Achieving Cures Together tent in the Charity Village. It was an indescribable feeling to look around and see so many people that I love so much crowded together in those blue ACT shirts, getting to know each other and spreading awareness of C. diff. She would be so grateful to each and every one of you and absolutely floored by the progress you’re supporting to help end C. difficile. Tent

Before I announce our 2020 adventure, I want to celebrate some highlights of that progress. Since 2016 we’ve partnered with Achieving Cures Together (ACT) and Dr. Alexander Khoruts from the University of Minnesota’s Microbiota Therapeutics Program (MTP) – two of the leaders in C. difficile research. Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many, we’ve now raised over $80,000 for the MTP and ACT since we started. Because of philanthropic support:

  • Over 590 patients with recurrent C. diff that could not be cured with standard antibiotics have been successfully treated at the University of MN through the fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) procedure – all at no cost to the patient. In 2020, the team hopes to share the treatment with clinicians across the US.
  • The MTP developed capsules of the FMT treatment, making it more accessible to fight recurrent C. diff.
  • As the team has expanded and manufacturing costs have come down, they have increased their ability to provide the capsules for critical clinical trials. The team manufactures the therapeutic microbiota in accordance with GMP protocols, which are required for all pharmaceuticals.
  • There are five active research trials utilizing the treatment including the MATCH Trial, which is a multi-center, placebo-controlled study at the VA. This is the largest study of its kind. The team continues to explore uses for the treatment beyond C. diff, and the other active trials are for patients with advanced liver disease, autism, ulcerative colitis, and intensive chemotherapy.
  • The MTP also has 3 additional research trials expected soon.

This progress would not have been possible without each of you and we cannot thank you enough for being part of these advancements!

So…that brings us to 2020!!

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 4.06.49 PM

I am thrilled to launch our Third Annual Achieving Cures Together team that will “Run for Nana” (or walk or handcycle) in the Colfax Marathon Weekend, May 16th-17th, 2020! Most importantly, I would like to invite YOU to join our team!

Now, before you get nervous, don’t worry. You don’t have to run a marathon. You don’t even have to run a half marathon. There are 5 races to choose from. An overview of each is below, and you can click the name of the race to learn more:

Race

Miles The Good Stuff

5K

3.1

Walk/run/handcycle, stroller, and dog friendly

Urban 10 Miler

10

Picks up on the last 10 miles of the marathon course

Marathon Relay

varies

A 5-person relay, with distances from 4 to 6.5 miles

Half Marathon

13.1

Runs through the Denver Zoo, a working fire station, and beautiful east Denver streets. Handcycle friendly.

Marathon 26.2

Runs through Mile High Stadium, around Sloan’s Lake, and through stunning west Denver

The 5K race is on Saturday, May 16th and all other races take place on Sunday, May 17th. In whatever way you feel most comfortable, we would love to have you as part of this very fun race weekend.

To register, simply click this link and choose the race that suits you best! Once in the registration page, just click “Yes” to “Raising funds or awareness for a charity,” and then select Achieving Cures Together (ACT) from the drop down menu that appears. It should look something like this:

colfax registration

Then you’ll be on the team, and you’ll get an email from me soon after you register with more details. Also, if you register before 11:59 pm on January 29th, you’ll get the early price! Thank you SO much for considering being a part of our Team.

Now, all that said, I completely understand if running isn’t your thing. If you still want to “Run for Nana” and help us fight C. diff, please visit How Can I Help? or our team fundraising page (link below). Our goal this year is to raise $20,000 in our Third Annual Colfax Race Weekend, and all dollars raised will go directly to Achieving Cures Together and their fight against C. diff and other awful conditions.  ACT Fundraising Page here: https://www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon!

More to come soon but until then, please feel free to add your email to the “follow” box on the blog to be updated whenever there’s a new post. Here’s to you, Nan!

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