Ambassador Q&A with Tracey Murrin
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."
What is one thing you want more people to know about IBD?
What it stands for, so many know the term IBS and think that they are the same. The individual names of Crohn's and Colitis are definitely more recognised but still not understood generally. The stigma of a bowel disease has made some baby steps but we have a long way to go. I think the general public think we have an upset tummy or maybe something like IBS, no actual idea of the pain, or the impact on mental health. Awareness is a constant goal for us all….
What goals are you setting for yourself for this year’s challenge and why??
When I was younger my sister and I growing up were figure skaters. We recently bought some skates so we are taking on the challenge and rolling our way to 150kms! It's amazing but at 50 I can still skate! If there is a remake of Xanadu I am in!
Do you have a message for your fellow Live Fearless Challenge participants?
Whether you are doing this for yourself or for someone else, well done. I am doing both. I am about to have my next surgery soon (number 8)! I know logically not to worry, but it sure does bring back a lot of painful and scary memories. I am also participating this year as I will every year for my beautiful friend Declan Primmer, who we sadly lost last year. Declan had IBD and was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met, I think of him every single day and whenever I feel like it's all a bit too much I draw on my love for him to get me through.
Support team Doing it 4 Declan here.