Get back to nature, get active and increase awareness of Crohn’s and Colitis

Kiara Schonberger (Image Credit: CCA).

The Live Fearless Challenge is back for its fifth year this September, and Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA) is calling on individuals and teams to get involved to make it bigger and better than ever.

For more than 30 years, Crohn’s & Colitis Australia has been empowering the more than 100,000 Australians living with Crohn’s disease or IBD.

As the major fundraising activity for CCA, they are hoping to have more than 1,000 people participate and raise more than $400,000 to fund the services and support the charity offers to the nearly 100,000 Australians who live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

This year, the month-long challenge is not only an opportunity to get active and improve health and wellbeing, raise awareness and help raise funds to support those living with IBD but also to get back – and give back – to nature after so many COVID restrictions.

For the first time, thanks to a generous plant donation to CCA from a nursery, every registration for the Live Fearless Challenge will mean Greening Australia can plant more native trees to help restore Australian landscapes.

Challenge Ambassador, Kiara Schonberger, was grateful for the Live Fearless Challenge when she participated in 2019, as it was the first time she had spoken publicly about her diagnosis.

“I have been living with Crohn’s disease for seven years but had been hiding it from even some of my closest friends – which meant they had no idea how significant its impact was on my life.

“It’s wonderful to be able to spotlight the impacts of my illness through the Live Fearless Challenge every year, and to raise funds to support CCA’s work,” Kiara said.

Participants can sign up as an individual, or encourage friends, family or workmates to join as a team.

Harrison Bence’s mum Jayne started a team with some family members in 2018 because she wanted to raise money for research and awareness of a disease her son was still battling privately at that time.

“As Harrison’s carer, it’s been hard to watch the impact Crohn’s disease has had on his life and career.

“I spend a lot of time explaining to people who don’t understand IBD just how hard it is for Harrison to get out of bed. I know it hurts Harrison when people, particularly close family members, think he’s just being lazy.

“When I completed the challenge in 2018, there were four of us in the team, but in three years, it’s grown to 21 people!

“Having so many people walking 150km in support of Harrison has really boosted his mental state. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to show Harrison how much love and support he has each year.”

CCA’s CEO, Leanne Raven, says that there are countless ways to participate in the Live Fearless Challenge.

“We recognise that everyone has different abilities and preferences, so you can complete the 150kms any way that suits you – walking, riding, rowing, skipping, roller-blading, bushwalking, kayaking, surfing, doing yoga or pilates or any measurable form of exercise will all count towards the suggested 150kms.

“This year’s Challenge is a great opportunity to make the most of being out of COVID lockdowns to get out and about again, including getting back to nature.

“We really hope that you can join us in September, as the weather starts to warm up,” Ms Raven said.

Since 2017, the Live Fearless Challenge has raised more than $1 million to help CCA provide free programs, research scholarships, education, advocacy and support initiatives for people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two most common types of IBD.

Providing awareness and support is vitally important with no cure for Crohn’s or colitis. To honour or support someone you know with IBD, or take on the challenge to increase your activity, this is a chance to do good for the planet, and for those living with IBD, and yourself.

To register as an individual or as a team, please visit www.livefearlesschallenge.com.au. Registration is free.

CCA acknowledges and thanks our generous sponsors, Pfizer, Abbvie and Greening Australia, for supporting the Live Fearless Challenge 2022.

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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