Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

Team Claire Bear and her story

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Do you remember being 6 years old … how about 9?

Yes, my memories are faint from those very important years too.

Okay, how about feeling scared or anxious to do something. An action that seems effortless for all those around you … how about when it is something that everyone else enjoys; it’s a true regular routine. Like going outside to play at recess?

 Enter the incredible Claire Starks.

This lovely young lady fully enjoyed school, was a great student and adored playing and running and jumping with her friends.

She was 6 … then things began to change; she’d ask to go to the Nurses office when she was at school, she had a belly ache, diarrhea, she didn’t want to go to school, she was stressed and anxious about what were regular run of the mill activities … playing in the school yard or kicking a soccer ball.

Claire parents knew their little girl was not acting out; she never avoided school or interactions with other people and children.So they dug in and with other medical professionals figured out that Claire has Crohn’s. She was diagnosed at the age of 6.

She is 9 now and she’s got this thing figured out! Sure, there are foods she needs to avoid, like dairy products … although, surprisingly enough vanilla ice cream seems fine!

She looks forward to her trips to the 4th floor of St. Joe’s for her remicade infusions. The staff truly enjoy this bright sunny personality and she feels great after the infusion session.

This is her life, this is all she knows and it is normal. There is no cure. Yes, she will have bouts of remission however will forever manager this disease.

You need to meet this little girl! Your day will be better because of it.

She rallied her troops and last year Team Claire Bear walked in the Take Steps walk for Crohn’s and Colitis. Her group traveled the furthest to get to the event; was the largest team in the event [numbering 50+ strong!], raised the second most money of all teams [over $4,200!] and—I know—had the most fun!


Please come walk with Team Claire Bear this year at the Take Steps event.

You will be helping a very important cause and I promise you, you will have a blast!

THE WALK: TAKE STEPS for Crohn’s and Colitis

WHEN: Saturday May 21st, 2016
WHERE: Payson Park, Portland, Maine. Look for the team wearing polar bear ears!
WHO: The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America []
WHAT: Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis is a charity fundraising walk that celebrates the dedication of the IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] community. Our walk / festival is a day filled with celebration, recognition, games for the whole family and great food.
WHY: To raise money for mission-critical research that will lead to cures and to provide better education and care for those living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. More than .80 cents of every dollar raised supports these efforts.

  • More than 1.6 million Americans are currently living with digestive diseases
  • One in every 200 people is currently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • There are 6,650 patients in Maine living with IBD, including over 350 children
  • Approximately 80,000 children are living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • One of the fastest growing populations of patients being diagnosed is children under the age of 18

Click here to register to join Claire’s team and for more information about the event.

And – we will see you on May 21st!
Questions? Call Jessica Gale, Walk Manager at 207-649-9573

Click here for the Take Steps site.


Claire on the far right and her two great friends!




One thought on “Team Claire Bear and her story

  1. Way to go Claire! (I’m a UC’er and your Dad is awesome & has helped me as well as my Dad and some other family members!) I totally agree about the 4th floor(formally the basement) infusion lab staff…You rock and thanks! Go, fight and stay strong Claire! 🙂🐻💜 Shelly

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