Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis event Saturday in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis event Saturday in Tucson

Richard Gremel. (Source: Tucson News Now) Richard Gremel. (Source: Tucson News Now)
SOUTHERN, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It's encouraging to hear about breakthroughs that can help people suffering with medical problems.

Just a few weeks ago, researchers announced they'd found the cause of Crohn's disease – an auto-immune disease that affects people's intestines. That could lead to new treatments for people suffering from the disease.

Richard Gremel is one of the people excited by this news.

Gremel spoke with Tucson News Now's Craig Thomas, who you might know also suffers from Crohn's disease and has dealt with the disease for 13 years.

He is a drama teacher at Empire High School in Vail. He said he's had seven surgeries overall and spent about 100 days in the hospital in a single year. But Gremel said he has finally started to feel healthier.

Gremel said increased awareness and encouraging signs about research are a big deal.

"When I first was diagnosed 15 years ago, the doctor said you have Crohn's Disease," Greme said. "I was like what's that? I had never heard of it before. I didn't know what it meant or what it would mean to me."

His students at Empire High School rallied to support him and last year raised money at a walk in Tucson that benefits the Crohn's and Colitis foundation.

"I missed out on getting to do a show and I missed just a lot of time in the classroom," Gremel said. "They really banded together and tried to help me through that period. When I came to them and was like, 'Hey there is this walk for Crohn's, I'd really like to do it.' They were all on board and said that they wanted to be there with me."

The students, Gremel’s Gutsy Gang, raised money again this year and will be with him when he walks on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park.

Thomas will also be there as the emcee. The event starts at 2 p.m. and the walk begins at 3 p.m.

Find out how you can support the cause HERE. For more information on how to get involved with Take Steps and to find a 2016 walk site nearest you, please visit www.cctakesteps.org or contact the Southwest Chapter at 602-734-1392 or bbaer@ccfa.org

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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