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Lebanon Morning Rotary, Pinnacle Bank donate to Crohns Take Steps

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Members of the Lebanon Breakfast Rotary Club donated $2,000 to the CCFA’s Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis Walk. From left is Suanne’s father, Gordon Bone; Rotary’s Magi Tilton; Suanne Bone; brother Hal Bone, who has been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease; as well as Christy Bell and Michelle Chianese of CCFA. ZACK OWENSBY / The Wilson Post 

By ZACK OWENSBYThe Wilson Post

Just five weeks ago, Lebanon’s Suanne Bone’s life changed forever.

Bone was walking on Hill Street in Lebanon with friend Melanie Long when the two were hit by a car driven by Carroll Hart Smith, who reportedly was drunk and under the influence of marijuana.

She has now spent every moment since then in a hospital or a rehabilitation facility with a broken ankles, pelvis, shoulder and ribs, among other injuries. Her breaks are being held together by screws and plates.

Long is healing her broken leg, visiting when she can and returning to work in short periods, according to Gordon Bone, Suanne’s father. Long is the owner of The White Room in Lebanon.

But Suanne has not given up on helping others, like her brother, Hal, a local real estate agent, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when he was 12.

Bone serves on the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation or America’s Take Steps Walk Executive Committee, raising funds for research and awareness of the diseases. She has been involved in the CCFA for several years.

Gordon Bone served on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Chapter of the CCFA at its inception and has been involved ever since.

But her story and dedication to the cause has recently spurred one local organization, several businesses and her church to take up the slack for the foundation.

Members of Lebanon’s Breakfast Rotary, after a presentation from Christy Bell and Michelle Chianese of the CCFA, pitched in to donate $2,000 to the Take Steps Walk.

Businesses have stepped up to help as well. Pinnacle Bank added $5,000 to the foundation, and other local businesses have added amounts ranging from $50 on up to hundreds.

And when members of the family’s church, First Presbyterian in Lebanon, asked Suanne how they could help after her accident, unselfishly she told them to get a team together for the Take Steps Walk. So they did.

Suanne, an avid runner and participant in an active lifestyle before the accident, completed a CCFA-sponsored half marathon recently in California’s Napa Valley. With her quality of life being robbed of her temporarily, she is eager to get back on her feet.

Even with the recent evaluation by her doctors ordering at least four more weeks of healing and therapy before she can put weight back on one of her legs, she thinks of others who are suffering with a disease that often robs the quality of life from its victims, too. 

Crohn’s and Colitis Diseases specifically attack the digestive system. About one out of 200 people are diagnosed with the disease, with about 30,000 people in Tennessee suffering with it. But in reality it affects many more when considering friends and family of those diagnosed.

The Take Steps Walk organized by the Nashville Chapter of the CCFA takes place Saturday, May 22 at 4 p.m. at Nashville’s Centennial Park. The goal of the event is to raise funds for awareness, research and programs, such as youth camps put on for children diagnosed with the disease.

Crohn’s and Colitis are often diagnosed young. Its sufferers often deal with symptoms for their whole lives as there is no cure.

But with help and funding, Suanne hopes soon research will find a cure to end or better treat the hundreds of thousands diagnosed, like her brother.

She waits to heal while she continues to help others, allowing her story to be an inspiration to others who suffer.

For more information on the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis Walk, visit www.cctakesteps.org.

Staff Writer Zack Owensby may be contacted at zowensby@wilsonpost.com.

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