Jake Diekman of the Texas Rangers co-designed the #GutItOut t-shirt to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. The campaign ran for two weeks (2/20-3/6) and raised $5,520! By breaking the $5,000 raised threshold, this design was "retired" and earned a spot in the Athletes Brand store for the rest of the year - a first of its kind. Typically, after the two week awareness campaign, the shirt design is gone for good.
Jake has ulcerative colitis (UC), which, along with Crohn's disease, make up the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel diesease (IBD). All told, IBD affects nearly 1 in 200 Americans, or almost 1.7 million people nationwide.
Jake has been saddled with UC for the better part of two decades, and after undergoing condition flare ups in December, he had the first of three surgeries to help treat his condition. The first surgery saw him get his colon removed. Since 2015, Jake has partnered with Athletes Brand to be a voice and advocate for the IBD community that does not shy away from his health setbacks. Instead, he has embraced his role and the unique position to help make a difference for others that are undergoing similar health fights.
SportsDay's Evan Grant had the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at Jake's journey to return to the mound. All credit to Evan and the SportsDay production team. Chapter 1 features Jake in advance of his first surgery.
Toward the end of the campaign, the GIO campaign got the support of ALL of Jake's teammates on the Texas Rangers. The team posed for a team "Gut It Out" picture in support of their teammate.
Campaign awesomeness: Why is Jake such a great IBD advocate? His humility and humor combine to make him a self-proclaimed "open book" - even when answering questions like, "Have you ever had any embarrassing moments when your bag opened?"
Tune in to the video above at the 50:17 mark to hear Jake and Amanda tackle this question or check out what else they had to say during their Facebook Live chat on 2/27
Below are comments that can be found in the video's comment section:
"I wanted to give up today and I jumped on fb and your video came up and it gives me hope."
"You've been a huge inspiration for me since my diagnosis 3 years ago. I wear my gut it out bracelet daily and actually have one of my many gut it out shirts on now. I had my ileostomy a few weeks before you and seeing you keep pushing helped me do the same"
"Jake my son is a freshmen HS pitcher and a QB. He has UC as well and your story serves as an inspiration not just to him but to all of our family!"
A chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, especially the colon and ileum, associated with ulcers and fistulae.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine, also known as the colon, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers, that produce pus and mucous.
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