One Woman Overcoming Ulcerative Colitis to Run Boston Marathon

We like it when people achieve great things despite insurmountable obstacles. This is not unique to living in the modern world or being an American; however, this is a big part of the American Dream. Don’t believe me? There’s a whole class of literature out there that proves me right. Heroic literature.

Dum-da-DUM! Source:

From Gilgamesh (our earliest hero) to the eleven superheros getting their own movies in 2018, we love heroes.

The only thing better than heroes in fiction is heroes in real life. They’re out there. Some are honored in movies. But there are so many more heroes doing things in their daily lives that will never be immortalized on film.

Running a marathon is certainly an accomplishment, and over 500,000 people do it every year. However, there aren’t many who do it with ulcerative colitis. But as the honest and refreshing Caitlyn Pilkington writes in The Mighty, running marathons is actually helping her ulcerative colitis!

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease, which causes swelling in the large intestine.

Symptoms include diarrhea, bloody stool, and cramping, among others. Doctors do not know exactly what causes the inflammation, but most agree it has something to do with anything from the immune system to environmental factors.

Caitlyn explains that was originally diagnosed when she was just 14, but didn’t have her first post-diagnosis flare up until she was in college. After her first flare, the majority of Caitlyn’s time was spent in bed, hardly able to move. When she did, she never ventured far from a restroom.

Eventually, she got on a treatment that helped her regain control, allowing her to take back her life. She got back into running, trained up, and completed her first half-marathon shortly after her 21st birthday.

Finally, after more races and more training, she ran the mother of all marathons—the Boston Marathon—in 2016.

Boston strong. Source:

It’s safe to say, in this writer’s opinion, she has taken ownership of her life. Her inspiring and candid words are a must-read for anyone needing motivation in the face of rare disease.

Read about Caitlyn’s experiences in her own words, in The Mighty, by clicking here.

Tell Patient Worthy about a rare disease hero in your life!

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