Westerville teen Tyler Moon is continuing his crusade against Crohn's disease and colitis.

Westerville teen Tyler Moon is continuing his crusade against Crohn's disease and colitis.

The 14-year-old St. Francis DeSales freshman has planned his second annual fundraiser for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and has been named an "Honored Hero" for the CCFA of Central Ohio's annual Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis walk.

Moon, who was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 9, kept his struggles with the condition quiet until he worked with school officials to talk to classmates at St. Paul's in health class last year. He also held an ice-skating party last year to raise more than $400 for the CCFA.

This year, Moon has planned "Dine Out for Crohn's and Colitis" from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 6 at Giammarco's, 6030 Chandler Court.

During the fundraiser, Moon will be at the door handing out fliers. For all orders placed by people with fliers, Giammarco's will donate 10 percent of the sales to the CCFA.

Also as part of the fundraiser, there will be raffles of gift cards, sports memorabilia and tickets to Fort Rapids, Kings Island and Cedar Point.

"My goal is to raise over $500 this year," Moon said.

For the CCFA of Central Ohio's annual walk, which is scheduled for June 25, Moon is on the walk committee and also is volunteering to help with the event in any way possible. He has participated in the walk for the past three years, and he said he's excited to be chosen as the "Honored Hero" for this year's walk.

"I was really honored, and when I was chosen, I just really had a drive to do what I can to improve the walk and take it better," Moon said.

Take Steps walk coordinator Brianne McFarland said Moon's dedication to the walk and his own fundraising efforts led him to be chosen to serve as this year's "Honored Hero."

"He is an amazing young man who has done a lot for the organization. He gets out there and really does everything he can to get the word out about the disease," McFarland said. "Some of these fundraisers that he's put together on his own are just amazing."

McFarland said the group also wants to raise awareness about children dealing with Crohn's and colitis, two painful gastrointestinal diseases.

"There has been a real focus on how this disease is affecting young people in our community," she said. "There are so many other issues that go along with this when you're diagnosed as a child: The issue of growth, the issue of sticking out among your peers, the issue of missing school."

Moon said he's trying to raise awareness about the disease as well. He said he now talks to his DeSales classmates openly about his condition and has spoken to the principal about taking his message to the school's health classes, like he did at St. Paul's.

He said he's committed to raising awareness and money to help find a cure for the Crohn's and colitis.

"Being a Crohn's patient, it's just really given me the drive to fund-raise to try to find a cure so that everyone impacted by the disease can be able to receive the cure so they don't have to have the burden on them," Moon said.

For more information about Moon's fundraiser or the Take Steps Against Crohn's and Colitis walk, visit www.ccfa.org/chapters/centralohio.