Home Articles Halstead International Culture Halstead Team Participates in Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Walk Sunday, May 21st was a sweltering hot day in Dunwoody, Georgia, with temperatures reaching well into the 90’s, but the oppressive weather conditions didn’t hinder over a dozen Halstead employees from taking part in the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation walk. The Halstead “Gutbusters”, as they lovingly titled themselves, walked over a mile and half in the heat and went on to raise almost $6,000 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, taking 2nd place for corporate sponsorship at an event that had over 800 participants. This walk was just the first step for the latest Halstead charitable contributions committee in raising money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Crohn’s is the fastest growing disease in the U.S. today. 1.6 million people were diagnosed just last year, 80,000 of those being children. Simply put, the disease causes the immune system to go into hyperactivity – attacking itself and destroying the intestines by creating large holes or ulcers through the entire digestive tract which can cause severe pain, internal bleeding and in some cases sepsis. When Vice President of Sales-Retail, Eric Anderson, was chosen to be a part of the committee in June of 2016, there was a personal reason behind choosing the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation as the next Halstead charitable endeavor. Sara Anderson, Eric’s wife has been living with this disease for over 18 years. After suffering 11 miscarriages from a fistula to her uterus, Sara was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1999. “20 years of heartache without knowing why,” said Sara. Over the next 18 years, she would endure 21 surgeries, including several resections to the point where she now only has 4 feet of what should be 30 feet of intestine left. Several of her organs have been damaged or removed. She has been on feeding tubes as she says, “more times than I can remember”, has been septic over 3 times, bed-ridden numerous times (once for over a year), and was told on 3 occasions to get her “affairs” in order as doctors weren’t sure she would make a recovery. But recover, she did. “She’s truly amazing,” said Eric. “She inspires me every day.” So when thinking about how to kick-start the campaign, Eric thought who better to explain this disease and the effects it has on the people afflicted, than Sara. On April 26th Sara visited the Calhoun campus and shared her story with employees. Said Eric, “We invited everyone to the Innovation and Design Building in Calhoun, to have lunch and listen to Sara speak. This was an effort to get people, connected, aware and engaged in the cause.” What they didn’t expect, was how many people approached Sara after her presentation to tell her that they too have family or friends afflicted with the disease. “It was amazing how many people in Calhoun alone, know someone affected.” There are plenty more fundraising events on the horizon; skeet-shooting in the fall, a bowling night, and in Spring of 2018 Halstead will host another Golf Tournament, where Eric hopes to match if not exceed the previous Halstead/Metroflor Golf Tournament held in August 2016 where over $30,000 was raised and donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. For Sara Anderson, the efforts from the Halstead/Metroflor companies in recognizing and helping the cause means so much. “I simply can’t thank the Halstead family enough for taking such a vital role in fundraising and research for The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. This means the world to our family and to so many others, including many Halstead employees. This really fills my heart.” Visit www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org for more information on how you help fund this cause.