Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis raises $30,000

Throngs of people filled Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park on Sunday, June 2 to participate in the 10th annual Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. Organizers were originally aiming to raise $18,000 and were absolutely thrilled that the event raised $30,000 with more donations continuing to arrive.

Volunteers including Stephanie Phillips, a REALTOR® with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty in Nanaimo, helped to create a wonderful experience for participants.

“It was a great day filled with fun and energy,” says Stephanie. “My partner Emma and I began set up at the park at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. Starting at 10:30 a.m., there was a warm up and briefing, then everyone headed out for the walk.”

Participants had a choice of a 2.5-kilometre or 5-kilometre walk through the lovely, seaside park. Afterwards, there was live music and Alliya Lawrence, a close friend of Stephanie’s and president of the Crohn’s and Colitis Nanaimo chapter, handed out awards.

Stephanie decided to volunteer because Crohn’s and colitis affect many people in her life. In addition to her friend Alliya, the diseases also impact three of Stephanie’s relatives. This event will fund research into these mysterious conditions.

“Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are diseases that inflame the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and disrupt the body’s ability to digest food, absorb nutrition, and eliminate waste in a healthy manner,” says Stephanie. “To date, there is no known cure. Crohn’s and colitis can be diagnosed at any age, but people are more frequently diagnosed before the age of 30. Males and females are equally affected.”

Gutsy Walks in 60 communities across Canada this spring have raised $2,958,604 according to data provided on

This story was adapted – with permission – from one originally featured on the Sutton Spirit website. The Sutton Spirit program recognizes Sutton associates across Canada that improve and enhance the lives of the people around them.

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