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Annual Gutsy Walk is happening on Sunday

'Together as one we walk to stop Crohn's and Colitis' is the theme of a fundraiser being held this Sunday in communities across Canada, including in northern Ontario.

The Gutsy Walk raises money for research, programs and awareness about the digestive system diseases.

Kaylie Voutier, 29, is the chair of the Gutsy Walk in Sudbury.

She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 18 and was later hospitalized with serious complications.

"There was even a possibility that I was possibly going to have to get my colon removed," Voutier said. "Thankfully, the biologic drug worked and that didn't have to happen. I got to keep my colon, which is always nice and also is, just really affects your mental health."

By taking medication and infusions, Voutier said she is now enjoying a much better quality of life thanks to research into better treatments.

"The medication worked so well that I am able to work a full-time job. I am able to just live my life, I am not as worried about my colitis as I would be if I was not on the biologic drug," she said.

Gutsy Walks will be held across the country, including Sault Ste. Marie and Muskoka, to raise money and awareness for Crohn's and Colitis Canada.

In Sudbury, the 5K walk is taking place at Bell Park with the opening ceremonies beginning at 11 a.m. June 4.

The Sudbury walk has already raised more than $25,000 of it's $30,000 goal.

Meanwhile in Sault Ste. Marie, the walk is taking place at the Roberta Bondar Pavillion and has surpassed its $10,000 fundraising goal by more than $5,000.

The Gutsy Walk in Muskoka starts at 9;30 a.m. at Gull Lake Rotary Park in Gravenhurst. It has also surpassed its $10,000 goal."It's estimated that there are 300,000 Canadians living with Crohn's disease and ulcerated colitis and in Canada, someone new is diagnosed every hour," said Nicole Sage, development co-ordination for the northern Ontario chapter of the organization.

Organizers said the support the walk generates is important for people living with the diseases.

"A lot of people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have pain and inflammation, have to run to the bathroom multiple times, so who really wants to talk about that right," Sage said.

"So it's really important that we talk about how many people are affected and that they are not alone and that their community is here to support them."

Gutsy Walk organizers said they are in need of volunteers to help out on Sunday. To sign up to give some time or walk to raise money and show support, visit Top Stories

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