Part I - IBD: How a Bike Ride is Transforming the Crohn's and Colitis Community

Published on

Loading the player...

This brief program sponsored by Get Your Guts in Gear (GYGIG) is the predecessor to the long format program "The Bike Ride for Better IBD Health: An On-the-Street Report from Crohn’s and Colitis Patients and Experts”. The interview takes place prior to the Central Texas ride and features Dr. Tony Weiss and Jay Pacitti. Dr. Weiss is a gastroenterologist with Westside Gastroenterology in New York City and his patient is Jay, Director of Get Your Guts in Gear.

Get Your Guts in Gear is an event where the organization Get Your Guts in Gear (GYGIG) seeks to raises awareness of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and related conditions through bike rides that benefit and support inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) organizations and patient advocacy groups. Jay begins by explaining the benefits of participating and the purpose of the rides.

You’ll hear from Dr. Weiss about progress being made in IBD research, and how he’s inspired by those who participate in the rides each year. Learn about the fundraising efforts and which organizations the money helps to support. If you’re interest in learning more about Get Your Guts in Gear, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, this program is a great resource.

View more programs featuring and

Produced in association with Get Your Guts in Gear

Transcript

Andrew Schorr:

Hello and welcome to Patient Power. I’m Andrew Schorr. A number of times along the way I have done programs on IBD, and I’ve always been inspired when I’ve had as a guest Jay Pacitti, and Jay is the ride director for Get Your Guts in Gear, and on his own has really taken this on, and then other people have piled on and said we want to help, we want to participate, and so now there is a ride coming up in Austin, Texas, that really illustrates what Get Your Guts in Gear is all about. So Jay is joining us in the final countdown for the Austin, Texas, ride. Jay, welcome. Tell us about how, this probably is an exciting time as everybody comes together to want to participate and help out.

Jay:

Yes it is Andrew, and thank you for having me here today. As you said, we’re in the final week-and-a -half of preparation for our 3-day, 210-mile ride that’s going to happen near central Texas starting in La Grange and winding all the way around to the west side of Austin, and it will be from October 17th through the 19th 2008.

Andrew Schorr:

Now can people easily sign up, and what are the benefits when they do? What are the benefits of feeling supported and maybe doing something they never thought they could?

Jay:

Oh absolutely. The benefits are many. At this point it’s a little bit late to sign up to ride unless somebody is already a cyclist who’s ridden distance and is able to complete the fundraising, but we are still looking for volunteer crew members who come along for the entire experience to help support the riders. As you mentioned, whether somebody is part of that support crew or part of the group of people who are riding, the benefits are connecting with a group of people outside of your ordinary life where you come together to support one another in this what may seem to some people like a crazy or impossible challenge of riding 3 days and 210 miles. So the community that’s created around the event really lasts throughout the year and helps support people whether there’s somebody living with Crohn’s or colitis or whether they’re a parent or a spouse or other kind of caregiver of somebody with Crohn’s or colitis.

Andrew Schorr:

And you have rides in other regions.

Jay:

We do. We also have a ride from New York City to Saratoga Springs up the scenic Hudson River valley in New York and one just north of Seattle.

Andrew Schorr:

I just want to read a couple of comments that I’ve seen from people who have participated. This was from Gary who was a first time rider. He said, ‘There must have been a dozen times I said I can’t do this, but with the outstanding support of the crew and all the riders I did something I thought not possible. I went 208 miles on my bike.’ Here’s another one from Vern who wrote, ‘This was the single most inspirational event in which I have ever participated,’ and there are more and more comments.

Jay, I want to bring in your doctor who joins us from New York City, and that is Dr. Tony Weiss who has devoted his life to helping people with IBD. So Dr. Weiss, here’s Jay your patient doing this and maybe you’ve had others who have participated for example in the New York City ride. It must inspire you as a healthcare provider.

Dr. Weiss:

Oh absolutely, and I think it was with Jay six or seven years ago that you came to me saying you wanted to do a ride for Crohn’s disease, Crohn’s and colitis, and I was just so excited. I thought it was the best idea, and I was very enthusiastic. I rode with them, and we raised money, and it was terrific. It was inspiring. What we say these days is that Crohn’s is a disease of a lifetime, which means unfortunately we can’t cure it, but with the medications we have, and they’re getting better and I’ll talk about that later and there are more of them, our goal is to make sure that people have a normal life and a normal quality of life as much as possible, and this is just the perfect example to show that you can have a serious disease and still thrive. Just to see this ride Andrew is just so impressive. Probably half the riders who ride either have inflammatory bowel disease and the other half is either doing it for a friend who has IBD or a family member who has IBD, and it’s not small feat for anyone to ride 210 miles over three days. So just showing that yes I have Crohn’s, yes I’ve got colitis, I’ve had surgery, you know, I’m missing part of my intestines but I can still do this is just really the right message to send.

Andrew Schorr:

I come from Ashkenazic Jewish extraction, and so I know there’s a little higher incidence there of some of these illnesses and so I know people, and I know years ago it was really where are the bathrooms, and can I go out, and really what kind of quality of life I can have? Now I know a lot of progress has been made, so the idea that somebody goes on a ride is really illustrative I think of the progress we’re making. Wouldn’t you agree Jay?

Jay:

Definitely. So it’s not only from better treatments available and people partnering with their doctors, but on these rides we strive to do everything we can to make it possible. So for example there are rest stops every 12-15 miles where there are snacks and Gatorade and water and bathroom facilities. In addition to that support, every 12-15 miles we have vans out on the route to look for people in between those stops to make sure that people feel completely supported as they’re undertaking this event.

Related Programs

Advertisement
Join Our Community Register for Events Read Our Latest Blog
Advertisement

Page last updated on