Saturday, May 18, 2013

Country Day 8th grader raises money for Crohn's Disease research

Country Day eighth-grader Caroline Funderburg has worked hard to raise money for Crohn's Disease research, and she and her friends will be participating in the Charlotte Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis Walk June 1.

The cause is personal for Caroline. She was diagnosed with the disease in 2009 when she was in the fifth grade. The diagnosis explained why she kept getting stomach aches (and had to miss 80 days of school that year).

The disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. The Mayo Clinic says it's treatable but not curable.

Caroline is into her third year of remission, but she decided in the sixth grade to start doing something to help find a cure.

To fundraise for research, Caroline, who attends Country Day, sold Cookies-in-a-Jar -- dry cookie mix -- to classmates and had some success. The next year she decided to hold a bake sale in her neighborhood, and with the help of her friends, raised more than $800.

Caroline and friends at a bake sale that raised money for
Crohn's Disease research.
Photos courtesy of Patty Funderburg
This April, Caroline had an even more successful bake sale, raising more than $1,200. "I felt so lucky to have such an incredible community around me," she wrote in an email.

Caroline and her family have also raised money on teams -- about $50,000 -- for the Charlotte Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis Walk and Team Challenge Half Marathon.

Caroline said she hopes the money raised will help the search for a cure, and that there's been a silver lining to her diagnosis.

"Not only am I stronger than when I was diagnosed three years ago," she wrote, "but my relationships with my friends and community are stronger as well."

For more information about the Charlotte Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis Walk, visit