Local resident gets selected as honorary chair for 2022 Gutsy Walk in Regina

June 7, 2022, 3:40 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Charlie Leslie’s family came with her to Regina in support of her being the honorary chair for the event. Part of her role was cutting the ribbon for the start of the 2022 Gutsy Walk.

For this year’s 2022 Gutsy Walk in Regina, Charlie Leslie of Moosomin was selected as the Local Honorary Chair for the event, held on Sunday June 5.

The annual walk is in support for those impacted by Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Last year, Leslie held a Gutsy Walk in Moosomin to raise awareness for the disease and raised $4,400.

“They emailed my mom and asked me if I wanted to be the honorary chair, they usually pick someone from Regina but I guess they saw how much money we raised last year, and all the support we got from being in a small town,” Leslie said.

“I’ve never been to one of the walks before because of Covid last year we hosted one in Moosomin at the track for friends and family, and whoever wanted to come, but I’ve never been to one in Regina,” she said.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which causes inflammation to a person’s digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain and other stomach issues.

Leslie said there are different types of Crohn’s diseases and can vary depending on the person.

“With mine it’s ulcerative colitis, the ulcers are inflamed and bleed in my large intestines, I have 42 cm that are currently damaged because of ulcerative colitis,” she said.

She also suffers from low iron because of losing a lot of blood from the condition.

“You get a lot of pain in your stomach and all that, but I was going to Saskatoon every month for remicade infusions at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, which was helping for sure so that’s good.”

Leslie said she discovered she had ulcerative colitis only about two years ago.

“Mine didn’t show up until about two years ago, I just started feeling sick and my mom thought it was nerves because I was going away for camp, and then it turned out not to be,” she said.

“It got really bad, I could never really go anywhere I had to stay home all the time, I was tired and just felt really sick. I had to go for multiple scopes and then they figured out it was ulcerative colitis.

“I was on a medication for a while that wasn’t working, and then they decided to put me on an IV infusion drug, and that one wasn’t working as well, but we finally found a good medication that works now.”

Leslie said it felt good to bring awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to the community of Moosomin.

“I liked seeing everyone that supported me there last year in Moosomin, it was a good feeling to raise that much money in a small town,” she said.

“No one really knows about it, it’s kind of like you have that type of disease, no one really understands and you can’t really understand it unless you have it, but it was a really good feeling to know that I helped raise money for it, and that everyone came out to support me.”

Leslie said she was excited to be a part of the Gutsy Walk in Regina on Sunday.

“I’m quite excited for that because I haven’t been to one yet, it will be a great experience to see everyone who has ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease and talk to them about it,” she said.

“I was quite excited when my mom told me that Crohn’s and Colitis Canada wanted to recognize me as an honorary chair, I was like yes I do for sure.

“It’s quite exciting that they picked me out of a whole bunch of people that live in Regina who may also have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, but, to be noticed for having it and become honorary chair felt good. I’m excited.”