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Garrard named honorary chair

Crohn's disease patient and Jacksonville's NFL quarterback, David Garrard, will join the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation to raise awareness of and funds for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis by serving as the Honorary Chair of the Foundation's Take Steps Walk on Thursday, May 14 at Metropolitan Park.

Participants will enjoy a casual two mile stroll and raise money for crucial research that wouldn't even have been possible a few short years ago, bringing us closer to a future free from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, painful and often debilitating chronic digestive diseases that affect over 1.4 million Americans. This event, taking place in the evening, will also have live music, refreshments, and other fun activities.

Garrard knows first hand the painful, debilitating and often embarrassing effects of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Prior to the 2004 football season, Garrard began experiencing the excruciating symptoms associated with the disease, lost a significant amount of weight, and missed several weeks of preseason training. Following his diagnosis, Garrard underwent surgery and, in consultation with his doctor, began a treatment regimen. David returned to the playing field by the start of the 2004 season and has since led the Jaguars to a playoff appearance.

"When I was first diagnosed with Crohn's over five years ago, I had never heard of this chronic disease," says Garrard. "Yet today, millions of Americans are living day-to-day not knowing when they will require a hospital stay or miss work for days or months on end because of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. The Take Steps Walk will spread awareness to the Jacksonville community about these diseases and how they affect patients in the hopes that in the future, others won't be sidelined from Crohn's and colitis."

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's inaugural Take Steps Walk in Jacksonville will help those affected by Crohn's and colitis to come together to help the Foundation in its mission to raise awareness, find better therapies and a cure, and provide much-needed education and support. Local residents can meet Garrard and learn more about at the Kick-Off event, Thursday, March 26, 6:00 pm, University of North Florida University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive, Jacksonville.

For more information about becoming involved in Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis, visit or contact North Florida Development Director Molly Wahl at or 646-201-6468.

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