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Kinnelon High Alumnus Uses Fitness Program to Encourage Residents

Maria Finnegan was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and Colitis when she was 16.

Maria Finnegan, Kinnelon High School Class of 1990. / Image courtesy of Maria Finnegan
Maria Finnegan, Kinnelon High School Class of 1990. / Image courtesy of Maria Finnegan

Maria Finnegan, a Kinnelon High School alumnus, will return to her alma mater Saturday to share her story of perseverance against Colitis and Crohn’s Disease and how they can battle against their own condition.

The “You Are Stronger Than You Think” will feature fitness classes for all ages and ability levels.

The event is free to attend, however donations will be accepted and given to Barbara Banks Spagnuolo, another alumnus who is recovering for a critical illness.

Crohn’s Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects one’s gastrointestinal tract. Colitis is a condition where the large intestine becomes enlarged and one’s colon is inflamed.

Finnegan, a mother of three young children, was diagnosed with the conditions when she was 16.

“My diseases shaped my young adult life but have thankfully not defined me,” said Finnegan, a group exercise and yoga instructor who lives in North Carolina now. “I have had some incredible struggles with this illness and am grateful to be living a very healthy, active life now.”

Finnegan wants participants to understand that they have the ability to battle against these and other potentially-debilitating diseases and conditions.

A flow yoga classes will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at the high school. Attendees are invited to attend a get together at Piccolo’s Restaurant in Kinnelon. A high-energy boot camp class will be held at the school Sunday.

“I want my story to inspire and motivate others to understand they are stronger than they think,” Finnegan said.

For more information or to register visit Finnegan’s web site.

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