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'Everything has got to be talked about': Advocates march for awareness in 2023 Gutsy Walk in Regina

The 2023 'Gutsy Walk' took place across Canada as well as in Regina, and it was more than just a walk in the park.

The annual event started in 1996 as a way to raise funds and awareness for Crohn’s disease and Colitis.

“It’s one of those diseases that has got a stigma around it, people don’t really talk about it because people don’t want to talk about that kind of thing,” Trent Linford, who took part in the Sunday walk, told CTV News.

“I didn’t even start letting people know I had the disease until my 30’s as well.”

Crohn's and Colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases that cause swelling of the tissues in the digestive tract.

Common symptoms include abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.

Linford is one of many people who make the walk an annual tradition. He's been attending for 12 years, and manning the barbecue for six.

“I love it and I love that my whole family is here to support me,” he said.

“My sister came down from Saskatoon, my parents came from out of town and they come in every year and help out with the barbecue. So it’s really nice to know that I kind of have that support.”

Whether they’re combating the illness or supporting a loved one who does, those who showed up were all hopeful to help out the next generation.

“I think events like this are huge. You’ve got to talk about the mental health, everything has got to be talked about,” Nathan Smith, a team captain with Canada Life explained.

“You can’t hold stuff like that in so it’s good to have events where you can talk to other people about having the same thing.”

That sentiment, to help those in the next generation and hope for better treatments, was not lost on some of the children who took part in Sunday’s walk.

“I think it’s important to raise awareness because you don’t hear about Crohn’s and Colitis all the time. Me and [Addie] have had it for a couple years, so has my mom, she’s had it for 10 years,” Max Stenhouse told CTV News.

“It’s good to spread awareness and its also fun at the same time, so why not?” Addie, Max’s sister, added.

Anyone looking to make a donation can find information on the Gutsy Walk website. Top Stories

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