Jake Diekman of the Texas Rangers co-designed the #GutItOut t-shirt to benefit the Gut It Out Foundation. The campaign ran for two weeks (8/21-9/4) and raised $2,510.
This campaign was particularly exciting for two reasons:
ABOUT: 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 more than 1.6 million Americans.
The Gut It Out Foundation was officially launched on August 16th, 2017. Jake and fiancé Amanda Soltero launched the Foundation with the mission of connecting patients and caregivers through education and inspiration in order to strengthen relationships and resources within the IBD community. Their inaugural fundraiser is set to benefit The Mayo Clinic, which housed Jake for his three-step surgery process beginning in January.
To learn more about the Foundation's work, please visit gutitoutfoundation.org
Evan Grant, who covers the Rangers for the Dallas Morning News, was there to capture Jake's first rehab outing and all the emotions that came with it. Incredible article that perfectly captures what a huge moment that it was for both Jake and Amanda.
How'd Jake pitch? How about a scoreless frame with 3-up, 3-down. How do you like them apples? *Matt Damon Good Will Hunting voice* #GutItOut
Upon being assigned to the minors for rehab assignements, Jake joined the Frisco RoughRiders, the Class AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The team, players, fan base and organization welcomed him with open arms, and even spearheaded an initiative to help raise money for Jake's newly formed Gut It Out Foundation. In a matter of just four days, the organization helped raise $5,000 through various initiatives at the ball park and online. Amanda and Jake were presented a giant check on August 20th in advance of the game that evening.
After six rehab outings in which he allowed just one run and three hits, Jake got the news that he was being recalled to the Texas Rangers bullpen on September 1st, 2017.
For a great video reaction following Jake's first outing, see the below video from Jeff Wilson of the Star-Tribune, who interviewed Jake following his outing on September 1st.
Andrew Battifarano, a writer for MiLB.com and IBD fighter himself, put together a great story that follows Jake's battle with IBD over the years. Not only that, but he touches on the importance of someone like Jake recognizing the type of positive impact that they can make for others. Best wishes to Andrew as he continues to follow Jake's lead and #GutItOut!
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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