WELLINGTON, Fla. — It's a debilitating disease that some people have a very difficult time talking about.
Now a Wellington mother and her son have hit the ground running to shed the stigma of Crohn’s and colitis.
For JJ Grodensky, photos provide some of her happiest memories.
"We always enjoyed walking on the beach and having a good ole time," said Grodensky.
However, not all her memories of her son's childhood were as joyful.
"They didn't know what it was. I really thought I was losing him," said Grodensky.
At 14 years old, her son, Jason Winokur, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
"He went from 140 to 99 pounds in a month," said Grodensky.
"In that moment, you don't know and you're scared and there isn't much to read about. At that time there was very little awareness," said Winokur.
That was in the 1990s, and surgery after surgery, Winokur started to get better.
But there's still stigma behind Crohn’s disease.
Which brings us to today. Winokur is preparing to run a marathon to raise awareness for Crohn’s and colitis. His mother has hit the ground running to raise money.
"When Jason told me he was going to do the marathon and it was on his birthday, I said this is present for him," said Grodensky.
On Wednesday, Winokur received the gift of community. Dozens gathered to learn more about this disease and donate to prevent another child from suffering in silence.
"So many people have Crohn’s or colitis and they are afraid to say anything about it because they don't want to have it, or they are afraid to face it. And the whole point is if we have people and join together, there is nothing to fear. We are here together," said Grodensky.
Wednesday's event raised thousands of dollars for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Jason said he hopes running will inspire others suffering from Crohn’s and colitis.
To donate to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, click here.