Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 2014

This past week was Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week (Dec. 1-7). If you’re not familiar, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). They’re chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract caused by an abnormal response by your body’s immune system. They affect 1.4 million Americans. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract while ulcerative colitis only affects the colon (large intestine).

The Minnesota/Dakotas chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) had an array of activities going on last week to raise awareness about these diseases. As someone living with ulcerative colitis, I wanted to help raise awareness and support CCFA during the week.

I rocked my IBD Awareness bracelet each day.

ibd bracelet

On Tuesday night, the 35W bridge was lit up in blue and orange for IBD awareness week! I made sure stop by and take a picture while out running errands.

bridge

On Thursday night my sister and I headed to The Icehouse for a show benefiting Camp Oasis – CCFA’s summer camp for kids with Crohn’s and colitis. I had the opportunity to hear parents and kids talk about how awesome Camp Oasis is when I attended one of CCFA’s pediatric support groups to write a blog post for the chapter’s blog (it’ll be posted on there soon). It’s truly a place where kids living with Crohn’s and colitis can just be kids and be surrounded by people who totally understand what they’re going through because they live with these diseases too.

benefit3

There were three bands supplying the entertainment for the evening.

benefit 1 benefit 2

They also had a raffle and door prizes. My sister and I both won door prizes!

benefit 4

It was a great event and I had a chance to see some of the people I did Team Challenge with last fall.

Hopefully, in time, there won’t be a need for IBD Awareness Week because there will be cures for Crohn’s and Colitis. Until then, events and campaigns like these will help people understand these diseases and support research for better treatments.

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