Raising Awareness One Day at a Time

December 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Happy Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week everyone!

Today marks the beginning of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 2013 and more than ever, I can’t stress the importance of this week for raising awareness and educating others about inflammatory bowel diseases.

Before Dan was diagnosed, I didn’t know much about IBD. In fact I was one of those people who thought IBD and IBS were one in the same (I now know that they are most definitely not).

In the almost seven years since Dan was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I have learned more about these debilitating diseases than I ever imagined I would. I have witnessed the good and the bad- colonoscopies, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills- you name it, Dan and I have been through it.

I have also been able to raise awareness and educate others who knew nothing about the disease learn about why Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are not just pooping diseases. Through Team Challenge and Take Steps, over the past three years Dan and I raised over $21,000 for research and education of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

But I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting incredible people who are battling these diseases and have become my second inspiration for raising awareness.

There’s Stephanie from The Stolen Colon who has had Crohn’s since she was 13 and now lives happily with a permanent ostomy.

There’s Marisa of Keeping Things Inside is Bad for My Health who has ulcerative colitis and an ostomy and is an outspoken online activist for others with the disease.

Me with Stephanie (middle) and Marisa (right)

There’s Frank of the Crohn’s and Colitis Effect who documents his life as a parent of a young child with Crohn’s.

There’s Megan and Andrea of The Great Bowel Movement who work to empower people with IBD to discuss their diseases publicly and raise awareness.

There’s Sara of Inflamed and Untamed, a Crohn’s patient with a j-pouch, who helps IBD patients with body image issues through her awesome vlog.

There’s Brian of The Intense Intestines Foundation who inspires people to live healthy, active lives with IBD and ostomies.

There’s Sarah of The Crohn’s Journey Foundation who promotes east meets west treatment and a love of your insides for IBD patients.

There’s Sean of Crohnology who created a social network to connect patients with IBD.

And of course, there are my Team Challenge teammates (TC Connecticut!) who are some of the most bad ass (pun intended) and courageous people I have ever met (and apologies to any of the other bloggers who I didn’t mention, there are just so many!).

Team Challenge Connecticut and Brooklyn before the VA Wine Country Half Marathon this past June.

Life has gotten busy in the past few months and I haven’t been able to blog as much as I’d like. But I am still raising awareness by speaking about these diseases every day with my coworkers and friends who are not knowledgeable about them.

It is because of Dan, Stephanie, Marisa, Frank, Megan, Andrea, Sara, Brian, Sarah, Kelly, Laura, Katie, Piper, Adam, Alyssa, Deirdre, Kasie, Sherri, Jessica and the 1.4 million Americans living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis that I continue my advocacy for patients with IBD.

So today, on the first day of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, I am rededicating myself to the fight to raise awareness and educate others about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis so that people know what the disease is and understand how painful and debilitating it can be.

How will you raise awareness about Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis this week?

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Entry filed under: Advocates, Caregiving, CCFA Awareness Week, General, General Disease, IBD News, Team Challenge. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Talking About the Hard Stuff Not Just a Pooping Disease: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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