Teigan Nash - NSW
Teigan Nash is a TV Presenter, GoPro Ambassador, Friend of Australia, Podcast host, co-founder of Girls Who Glow and lover of dogs. The last one probably the most important. Teigan also lives with Crohn's disease, she was diagnosed not that long ago in 2018 so while it is all still new and very early in the remission journey Teigan still lives a fulfilled life.
"Learning to live with an autoimmune disease definitely has it's challenges, especially when I live such an adventurous life but something that I am super passionate about is normalising these conversations. Being ok with opening up to people and talking about it (and poop, I mean we all do it!!!) because what I've found is that when we start to open up and have these conversations it encourages others to feel comfortable and learn more."
Teigan has travelled the world working and living abroad. She loves the ocean and outdoors, sometimes a bit of a daredevil... She's known for her role on popular kids show Saturday Disney, she's worked on a number of different shows and most recently in these crazy unprecedented times landed a job as a host of a travel show on Channel 10, Roads Less Travelled.
Justan Singh - NSW
Justan Singh was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was two years old and has had many surgical operations to manage the disease. After surgery for a permanent ostomy when he was 21 years old, he became interested in raising awareness about ostomies and positive body image. As part of this mission, Justan invested his time and energy into improving his fitness and wellbeing. He his keen to share what he has learnt about exercising and diet with other young people who have struggled in the past with creating healthy lifestyle routines.
He is a goal-oriented person and when he sets out to do something, he becomes really driven. On one occasion he stumbled across a barista coffee machine and was inspired to become an expert in brewing coffee. He brings this energy and commitment to the Live Fearless Challenge.
Justan is also a dedicated volunteer within the IBD community and has given his time to be a speaker for CCA events and The Bottom End podcasts.
Flic Manning - VIC
Flic Manning has lived with Crohn's disease for over two decades. Flic is an Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur. She is the founder of Corethentic, a wellness system created on the back of her experience living with inflammatory bowel disease.
Flic is a certified wellness coach, personal and group fitness instructor, dance teacher, meditation coach, and a holistic pain management and mindfulness facilitator. She also has a Diploma of Neuroplasticity and a Certificate of Advanced Neurobiology. Much of her study is inspired by the symptoms she and her IBD clients have faced that are often not openly discussed; such as brain fog, cognitive dysfunction, mental health issues and the presence of inflammation throughout the human body.
Flic shares her passion for wellness as a keynote speaker and she has written a book about her experiences with invisible illness which is due out in the coming year. She believes it is her purpose to inspire others to embrace wellness and step into the light to be seen as fully rounded human beings, not just the symptoms of a disease; so that they can go from surviving to thriving.
Dylan Swan - ACT
Dylan Swan has battled Crohn’s disease for a decade. Since diagnosis, he has had multiple surgeries including the removal of 80cm of bowel and numerous complications along the way. Starting Infliximab infusions bimonthly drastically improved his quality of life.
As a proud family man and a father of four, Dylan tries to lead a very healthy and active life. Spending the weekends going on hikes, adventures and countless activities. Instilling a healthy mindset in his kids and showing them that all the best things in life centre around your health is very important to Dylan.
Dylan is a former personal trainer of 8 years, and is currently giving his body a rest in an office environment as the hours and demand became detrimental to his health. Dylan trains 5-7 days a week and competes in multiple events based around strength and fitness.
Brittani Nicholl - NSW
Brittani Nicholl is a well-accomplished surfer from the Far North Coast of NSW, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of seven. She has had Crohn’s for 24 years.
A brief snippet of her surfing career includes various Pro Junior results, 3 consecutive NSW State Titles, an Australian Title, WSL WQS world ranking of 24, Australian representation in the 2016 and 2017 ISA World Surfing Games and Australian Team Captain. Brittani’s health obstacles forced her to take a step back from competitive surfing, however, she is still involved in the industry and studying a uni degree.
Brittani has a contagious smile, a positive attitude, and loves to help others. Brittani has been an Ambassador for Crohn’s & Colitis Australia since 2011. She aims to create awareness of IBD and inspire others who may be going through difficult times.
“I’ve had three ileostomy bags throughout my life, with the third presenting the most issues. I faced one of my biggest challenges in 2020 and now have a permanent colostomy, which involved 12+ months of recovery/healing. However, I now have quality of life and am ready to move forward."
Alexandra Sechi - NSW
Alexandra Sechi started her nursing career at Liverpool Hospital in 2008. In 2011 Alexandra was employed as the first IBD Nurse at Liverpool Hospital, establishing the IBD Service along with A/Prof Susan Connor and Dr Watson Ng.
Alexandra is a current member of the IBD Nurses Australia (IBDNA) National Committee, the CCA Medical, Scientific and Quality of Care Committee, and is the past-Chair of the NSW & ACT IBD Nurses Group. Alex is an active attendee at IBD-related meetings and symposia and has been an invited speaker at meetings nationally and internationally.
Alexandra has led nurse-initiated research and has co-authored a number of publications. She is also involved in various senior nursing initiatives and committees at Liverpool Hospital and within South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD).
Kiara Schonberger - NSW
Kiara Schonberger is a 23-year-old Commerce and Education student who has been living with Crohn's disease for 7 years. Kiara's diagnosis at 16 didn't come as a shock due to her family history of Crohn's disease and other autoimmune diseases. At the age of 18, Kiara experienced a significant flare up of her Crohn's disease, leading to hospitalisation and an entirely new treatment plan. Kiara now receives regular Infliximab infusions, allowing her to keep up with her academic studies, part-time work, social life, and dancing.
The 2019 Live Fearless Challenge was the first time Kiara publicly spoke about her diagnosis of Crohn's disease. For Kiara, hiding her chronic illness was so common that many of her close friends didn't realise the significant impact this disease had been having on her daily life.
Kiara continues to spotlight Crohn's disease and advocate for young people living with this often invisible illness.
Melissa Lord - QLD
Melissa Lord was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 18 and endured around 10 years of treatment for her symptoms, in and out of hospital. Her disease escalated towards the middle of 2009 and the outcome meant she needed major surgery to create a permanent ileostomy. As challenging as this decision was to make, Mel had tremendous support from her family, friends and clinical team and has no regrets.
In the twelve years since surgery Mel has worked hard to Live Fearless. She achieved a massive life goal by travelling overseas in 2018 to trek the El Camino in Spain. Having never travelled to Europe before, she joined her CCA team mates to walk over 100kms! An adventure she'll never forget, Mel continued to share her experiences in the hope of raising awareness and helping people who find themselves struggling with IBD and the prospect of surgery. Mel has spoken at forums for Crohn’s & Colitis Australia and she was very proud to be a mentor at the CCA Youth Camp Fearless in 2019.
With the world still in the grips of the pandemic the Live Fearless Challenge presents a great opportunity to focus on our health and wellbeing. Whether you’re part of a team or taking on the challenge as a solo warrior, it is a great motivator to get out and about.
Tracey Murrin - QLD
Tracey Murrin was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2005. 12 months later after a very aggressive year of a lot of hospital visits she had most of her large bowel removed and a permanent ileostomy.
Tracey is very passionate about raising awareness and helping others with IBD. She has walked the Great Wall of China with an amazing group of people to fundraise and raise IBD awareness, was a finalist in the Great Comeback Awards 2017, and walked in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay for Crohn's & Colitis Australia awareness. The most personal event though, was her son’s concert where he sang the song about their journey called F.I.B.D.
"In 2015, I mentored at the first CCA Youth Camp in Queensland and returned as a mentor in 2019. It was at the first camp that I met an incredible young man by the name of Declan. Declan had been battling Crohn’s disease for many years and along with that severe depression, sadly in 2020 Declan took his own life. Declan and I became such good friends and I miss him every day. At his funeral, I made him a promise to keep fighting and keep raising awareness. I am keeping that promise. Our fight is not over."
Bruce Rosengarten - VIC
Bruce Rosengarten has had an extensive senior executive career including roles that took him across our region and internationally. While living with ulcerative colitis for over 40 years, he built a highly successful career, however, it took him 39 years to admit publicly he has colitis. He has often taken up roles in not-for-profit organisations as a passionate believer in supporting the community.
Bruce is the author of Passionate Leadership, and today runs his own consultancy and is a member of several advisory Boards as well as being Chairman, Crohn’s & Colitis Australia.
Since 2018, Bruce has raised more than $22,600 through participating in the Live Fearless Challenge and has consistently featured at the top of the fundraising leaderboards. In 2021, he wants to be chased again, and is happy to come second, third or even last, but beware he will fundraise hard for a cause he is very passionate about.
Harrison Bence - VIC
Harrison Bence (everyone calls me Haytch!) is 26 years old and has been dealing with Crohn's disease since being diagnosed at 21 years of age. Prior to diagnosis, Haytch suffered with fistulas requiring many surgeries and is currently under the Alfred Hospital IBD clinic in Melbourne.
Haytch’s aim is to be the best father he can be, but also to get back into competitive basketball and doing all the normal day to day activities people take for granted. Haytch wants to get back into the workforce (working with his father) to support his family and feel like he is contributing. Working with IBD can be difficult as the disease is very unpredictable and you never know how you will feel each day.
“Last year the Live Fearless Challenge allowed me to spread the message to all of my friends and beyond about how we live daily and the struggles we face with IBD. Many people had no understanding of what we go through, and they supported me by donating their time and money to help raise much needed funds to help with research and support fellow IBD patients. I hope this year will be even bigger and better!”
Elizabeth Sideropoulos - VIC
Elizabeth Sideropoulos is a 20-year old university student who has been living with Crohn’s disease for 8 years. At the age of 13, Elizabeth experienced a significant flare up of her Crohn’s disease which was discovered following an appendectomy. Elizabeth spent many of her adolescent years in and out of hospital with flares, however, Elizabeth has always been inspired to live an active healthy lifestyle.
Elizabeth is very passionate about helping people with IBD and is currently participating in a clinical trial in the hope that new medications may become available for IBD patients in the future. As part of her mission to spread awareness and advocate for people living with this often invisible disease, Elizabeth is involved in a research program for young adults with IBD.
Elizabeth has a contagious smile, is driven by positivity and is determined to achieve all the goals she sets herself. She brings this energy and dedication into the 2021 Live Fearless Challenge.