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 (4/3-4/17) and raised $725. The camo version was produced as a special request from Jake himself.
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.
Picture courtesy of the Texas Rangers (7/30/17)
Jake has been saddled with UC for the better part of two decades, and after undergoing condition flare ups in December 2016 and with his long term health and welfare in mind, he made the decision to undergo a 3-step surgery process to help treat his condition. In doing so, he would miss at least the first half of the baseball season.
The first surgery in January saw him get his colon removed, and the second surgery constructed a j-pouch. This third and final surgery reversed his ostomy and connected his j-pouch. All three surgeries were performed at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Think Jake isn't grateful for the Mayo Clinic's help and support before, during and after his surgeries? Think again! Check out below what he is doing to return the favor to the Mayo Clinic.
"My recovery and upcoming return to the mound was made possible by the exceptional care I received at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota after a three-part J-pouch surgery. I'd like to thank the Mayo Clinic for its dedication to creating a brighter future for inflammatory bowel disease patients (including mine) and I've decided to make this organization the first beneficiary of Gut It Out Foundation's inaugural fundraiser." said Jake Diekman, in a statement on the Foundation's home page.
"The goal is to raise $10,000 by October 1st to benefit IBD research at Mayo Clinic, which will enable its scientists and physicians to accelerate the discovery, development, and application of life-changing therapies, surgical procedures, and technologies for IBD patients."
Fellow IBD fighter and noted GIO Warior Levi Stone spoke with CBS 7 about the difficulties that come for those in the IBD community, including how difficult it can be to strike up a conversation with others about your health. Please visit HERE to hear Levi talk more in-depth about his experiences and his followup colonoscopy. Video unfortunately will not embed on page
The Texas Rangers hosted a "Gut It Out Night", where Jake was able to host many from the IBD community before the game. He was able to speak with them about his ongoing recovery, share advice, and take pictures with those in attendance. The team also offered a ticket promotion in which fans could get a ticket to the game AND Jake's camo shirt - even though the campaign had ended about a month prior.
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.
Jake Diekman is a left-handed pitcher for the Texas Rangers, who most recently played an important role as a relief pitcher during the Rangers’ 2016 postseason run. In 2014, Jake became just the third reliever in Philadelphia Phillies’ history to strike out 100 batters in a season. He is from Wymore, Nebraska and was selected by the Phillies in the 2007 MLB Draft. He is active on Twitter (@JakeDiekman), Instagram (@JakeDiekman41) and Facebook (@OfficialJakeDiekman).
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.
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