Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC)

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC)

May 19, 2010 15:34 ET

World IBD Day unites Canadians affected by Crohn's and colitis

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO - MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - May 19, 2010) - May 19, 2010 was World IBD Day, and here in Canada, the day was marked by hitting the target of 10,000 signatures to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada's (CCFC) Patient Declaration at isupportibd.ca.

Canadians from coast to coast - with and without inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - logged on to isupportibd.ca to sign the declaration in an effort to help improve the quality of life of people living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The Declaration includes eight statements that members of the IBD community felt were important for Canadians to support and endorse, including:
* Encouraging greater understanding of what it's like to live with IBD in order to eliminate the stigma of living with Crohn's or colitis;
* Timely and equal access to specialists and allied healthcare professionals;
* Barrier- free access to washroom facilities;
* A call for funding for groundbreaking research.

One in 160 Canadians (over 200,000) currently lives with one of the two forms of IBD: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Every year 9,200 Canadians - including an increasing number of children - are diagnosed with IBD. Unfortunately, most Canadians have not heard of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and many more do not understand how it affects the lives of people who have it.
* IBD affects the digestive system and causes the intestinal tissue to become inflamed, form sores and bleed easily. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue and diarrhea. There is no known cause or cure for IBD.
* IBD typically strikes people in the prime of their lives - the age of diagnosis is often between the ages of 15 and 35, a time when people are in the midst of gaining an education, establishing a career and building a family.
* Most people don't know that Canada has the highest prevalence rate of Crohn's disease in the world, and among the highest prevalence and incidence rates of ulcerative colitis.

The "I Support IBD" campaign has given Canadians a voice and a platform with which to combat this debilitating disease. Canadians have shown their support in creating awareness so that people like Rachel Buckham of Abbotsford, BC and her son Carter feel less alone with their struggle.

Carter is now four-and-a-half years old and has been living with Crohn's disease for the majority of his short life. His mother Rachel signed the CCFC Patient Declaration for a multitude of reasons:

"I signed because I want to help find a cure, so that Carter doesn't have to take medication that can potentially harm him. I signed because I want him to be able to have one day without the urgency of getting to a bathroom and the diarrhea and pain that comes with it. I want him to be able to do everything he wants to do without Crohn's getting in the way," says Rachel.

Growing up as a "small, sickly military kid with stomach trouble," Patrick Smith always had trouble fitting in at school. Patrick, who now runs his own illustration and design business in Toronto, has been living with Crohn's disease since he was 10 years old. Trying to fit in as a kid with this condition was hard enough, but as he grew older Patrick found his disease dictated the kind of work he could do.

"Every new job presented a new set of challenges, and I worked as hard as I could to prove my illness would not detract from having me as an employee," says Patrick. "I worked harder than could be expected when I was in the office to overcome the times when I was absent due to my health. More than one employer simply was not able to find flexibility in the position to allow me to continue working there."

Patrick believes the only way to overcome the challenges he faced is through greater awareness about IBD.

"Alone, this disease is terrifying, crippling and embarrassing. Only through the voices of those affected can it be dragged into the arena of the routine, where discussion and education can occur openly," says Patrick.

The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) believes that a cure will be found for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. To realize this, the CCFC is committed, first and foremost, to raise increasing funds for medical research.

CCFC also believes it is important to make all individuals with IBD aware of the Foundation, and educate these individuals, their families, health professionals and the general public about these diseases.

Please visit ccfc.ca for more information.
/For further information: Jacqueline Waldorf
Manager of Marketing and Communications, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada
Tel: (416) 920-5035 ext. 241, Mobile: (647) 882-4758
Email: jwaldorf@ccfc.ca
/ IN: HEALTH, OTHER

Contact Information

  • Jacqueline Waldorf, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-920-5035 ext. 241
    Toll-Free: 800-387-1479
    E-mail: jwaldorf@ccfc.ca