As people storm through life, it can be all too easy to get caught up in what is happening on the outside. Things such as work, school, family, and friends tend to take up a large portion of a person’s attention, and sometimes this can lead to putting to put off self-care, and potentially losing track on what could be happening on the inside. These happenings generally include health related issues that can sneak up on the unaware and catch them by surprise. In response, public health organizations all around have been trying to thwart these issues by creating awareness on different health concerns that many must live with. For the month of December, a foundation will shine the spotlight on Crohn’s and Colitis, what it is, and how raising awareness on the issue can aid in the support and treatment of the disease.
According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are generally known as a pair and referred to as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), and living with it can be a journey. First off, it is very painful and medically incurable. The illness will attack the digestive system, causing abdominal pain, obstinate diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, and weight loss. Additionally, the effects of IBD are largely invisible on the outside, and so it is pertinent to make the illness visible to others, or #IBDvisible!
What You Can Do
“From diagnosis and treatment to advocacy, support and beyond, there are so many twists and turns along the road for patients and caregivers, and no one journey is identical. Each patient will experience their disease differently…”. That is why raising awareness about IBD can be critical in supporting those affected with it. When sharing one’s own experiences and creating a support system for the illness, people with IBD will see that they are not alone. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is making several moves towards raising awareness about the disease:
1) Share Your Story – Is a platform on the website that brings interested individuals to patient stories, a space where others with IBD can and have already shared their experiences in fighting the illness.
2) The Team Challenge Family – The foundation has created a yearly race and encourages advocates to join their “Team Challenge Family”. When a person joins this group, they join a system of support. This includes: coaches, mentors and friends who understand the impact of IBD and want to help. Next, they can take part in either a 5k, 20k, half marathon, marathon, triathlon, Ironman® or cycle event. Additionally, if you Race in Orange, anything can be turned into a fundraiser. Learn more.
3) #Giving Tuesday – Instead of having tacos this Tuesday, help fight IBD and donate! These tax-deductible donations all go towards helping the foundation fight for a cure to the disease. 
Raising awareness for Crohn’s & Colitis, AKA Irritable Bowel Disease, is vital in raising funds that go towards finding a cure and creating a support system that helps the affected not feel as if they are going this journey alone. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation has developed multiple ways for advocates to stand up and help them get closer to finding a cure, and help those affected live improved lives!