Friday, June 28, 2013

Craft Beer: Brock Wagner Tells the Personal Side of the Feast of Saint Arnold

Image Included in Media Kit
Used with Permission
Image Included in Media Kit
Used with PermissionNot too long ago dear readers, I informed you of the Feast of Saint Arnold taking place Sunday, July 14 in the great hall at the brewery on Lyons Ave. This feast will feature a very thorough multicolored gourmet meal prepared by Chef Ryan Savoie who handles their brewery lunches M-F, special aged DR 12 and DR 13, and a special Kegging of BB 2 that will only be served at the brewery from time to time. These are all worthy reasons to come to this event, especially. If you are a craft beer lover or a Saint Arnold lover.

Houston Craft Beer Legend and Dad
Brock Wagner
A more worthy reason to come to this event is the cause it supports--the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center of Texas Children's Hospital. (Note: the subject that follows is decidedly unappetizing, but still important. Don't read if you're about to eat!).

Just a quick note: IBD should not be confused with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which is an annoying but manageable condition. IBD is much worse, but as brewmaster, founder and CEO Brock Wagner told me, it's a disease that really didn't exist a century ago, but is now becoming more prevalent. TXCH-IBD unit is doing treatment and research into this disease, and the big challenge is trying to figure out how this group of diseases (Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn's Disease) begin in those who suffer with it.

Most of us take digestion and immunity for granted. However many of us are not aware that much of our immune system operates within our digestive tract. We also have intestinal bacteria that are similar to plants & animals that help us digest food & maintain immunity. This symbiotic relationship is important because we could not digest certain foods without them. If the balance of these flora and fauna get out of whack, it can cause all kinds of indigestion, pain, and immunity issues. Brock further explained to me that these diseases are autoimmune disorders. Like allergies, the patient's own immune system attacks these intestinal symbiotes, leading to pain, discomfort & all kinds of undesirable side effects.

Brock further explained that this disease only started appearing in the general population recently. It could be like Polio--the result of us having clean water leading us to lack resistance to it, or it could be the result of overuse of antibiotics. Whatever the reason, Brock began donating his money to TXCH-IBD unit a few years ago and in more recent years got his brewery involved. Seems like an odd stretch for Wagner one might think, until he explains the reason why: one of his children has IBD and has been treated at TXCH.

When this happened, Brock Wagner stated he felt like a failure as a parent, because all parents feel it's their job to help their kids get better when they become ill. Unfortunately this was something he & his wife couldn't do when the IBD first manifested in their child. However, like any parent coping with this, Brock realized that as GI Joe would say, knowing is half the battle, Wagner & his wife empowered themselves by researching the disease, talking with the experts at TXCH on the subject and even having some frank dinner table discussions that would ruin the appetite of most of us. In his own words:
“The first thing as a parent that you want to do is fix it, so I started researching the disease and treatment, and it was stunning how little is known about the gastrointestinal system and what causes this disease,” said Wagner. “Once we became part of the Texas Children’s Hospital community, we found they have lots of needs for more funding -- everything from research on causes and treatment to support for activities that help the children cope with their disease.” Last year, the Feast of Saint Arnold raised approximately $15,000, some of which was earmarked to make Texas Children’s Camp Survived It All, the annual camp for gastrointestinal (GI) patients, free for all the children who attended. “This is a fantastic experience for the children. It's important for them to be in a situation where they aren't different from everybody else and they can just interact like typical kids,” said Wagner.
Be a Saint, like Arnold & Help out kids with IBD
Along the way, they learned about different treatments: immunosuppressive therapy which has its own host of side effects; worm therapy which involves ingesting the eggs of certain worms found in pigs known as Helminths, and even fecal transplants (salinated feces from a person with a healthy intestinal flora/fauna balance are inserted into the intestinal tract of an IBD patient. Of these treatments, fecal transplants seem to produce the best curative results.

Brock Wagner has supported this cause personally and professionally for a long time. This year he set a goal to raise $15,000 for the TXCH-IBD unit. He's already surpassed $20,000 for this year, just so you know. Brock also wanted you to know that roughly 80 cents of every dollar paid for your ticket to the Feast of Saint Arnold goes to TXCH-IBD Center. Clearly this isn't some frivolous charity party where most of the money funds the party and a pittance goes to the cause.

Personally I think it's great that Brock Wagner is doing this--not just for his own kid, but for other kids suffering with IBD. His actions bring attention to this condition which many people suffer from but don't want to talk about due to the embarrassing nature of it. Tickets are still on sale at this website. They are $100.00 per person. You can also reserve a table for 8 as a Bronze Sponsor for $1000.00. However, the cause that will benefit is more than worthwhile, and any parent who has a child dealing with disease or condition like this can understand & empathize with Brock in this. I am endeavoring to make it on July 14, and I hope y'all do the same.

Do some good, y'all!


1 comment:

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis colitis is definitely a serious health issues which leads to inflammation through the colon. For people who do not know Precisely what is the colon, it might potentially be described as the huge intestine of human physique. It could possibly even be referred being an inflammatory bowel affliction that's related to dysfunction. The colon gets rid of nourishment of undigested foods coupled with taking away squander goods and answers as a result of the anus and rectum when feces (stool) are handed. Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis