For more information about the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit our website: greatrun.org/great-north-run

A 24-year-old from Leeds is running the Simplyhealth Great North Run this September whilst battling against the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. 

Greg Schild was diagnosed with the condition aged 15 and has had to undergo countless treatments to control it. 

Greg said: “I went through various medications over the years, as well as regular courses of steroids. 

“In 2013, it was decided that parts of my large bowel were too damaged to be managed with medication and that I would require keyhole surgery, resulting in a stoma and the use of a Colostomy bag. 

“This operation happened halfway through my four-year University degree and I spent the remainder of my time there working from home. 

“Just after my graduation in 2015, I had my second operation – this time open surgery to remove some damaged bowel. 

Eventually, after moving to Leeds and starting my new career, I was strongly advised to undergo further surgery, which involved removing my damaged bowel, replacing my colostomy with an inactive stoma and giving me a functioning ileostomy.

“Due to the nature of Crohn’s Disease, it will come back, it is just a matter of when and how severe it will be.”

Greg will be fundraising for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, a charity which supports others going through a similar experience. 

He said: “When I was originally diagnosed, like many others, I had never heard of the condition

“Raising awareness is my main reason for deciding to fundraise for Crohn’s and Colitis UK with the added benefit of raising funds to help with research and the improvement of lives of sufferers.”

He will be joining thousands of other runners at the Simplyhealth Great North Run, which takes place on Sunday 10 September.

Before his diagnosis, Greg loved sports and played ice hockey at university, but had to give up his active lifestyle after his surgeries. 

Crossing the finish line in South Shields will be a personal achievement for him as he overcomes the effects of his condition. 

He said: “Fortunately, following my latest operation, I am currently symptom free from Crohn’s Disease itself, however, having the ileostomy bag means I have to plan carefully and hope to avoid any problems.

“Also, the usual runner would eat lots of carbohydrates before the race to fuel their run, whereas I will have to sacrifice this energy intake for the best chance of a comfortable run.”

He added: “Running is completely new to me and the half marathon is going to be a huge challenge, but one I am looking forward to taking on.”

Support Greg’s fundraising page.

For more information about the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit our website: greatrun.org/great-north-run