What makes today special?
- It is Friday!
- It’s the first of the month (wake up, wake up, wake up), which also happens to be one of my favorite months! Cue Christmas themed everything.
- Today is the official start of Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week! It is off to a great start, with athletes like New Orleans Saints Linebacker Michael Mauti bringing attention to this awesome cause with his My Cause My Cleats campaign. And I am so excited to continue the conversation on here!
What is Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week? Well, on November 14, 2011, the Senate passed SR 199 to show appreciation for the families caring for IBD patients, the medical researchers who are working to advance new treatment, as well as those staff members who are responsible for our wellness and everyday care. This week is also for us patients, to give us a platform to speak on, to not feel embarrassed, & to advocate for our needs while saying thank you for all the hard work that goes into, well, letting us be us.
Advocacy efforts extend far beyond the week of December 1 – 7 to produce more funding and raise awareness, which has led to significant strides being made in this community, thanks to numerous organizations. However, we’re still not quite able to understand the underlying causes and most importantly, the cure. So, in order to further all of our understanding, I wanted to touch on a number of topics over the next 7 days that I hope will be beneficial not only to those of us patients, but also to our friends, family, caregivers, and even strangers.
[ The Line Up ]
- What is IBD? A breakdown of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis;
- The Public Restroom Access Act;
- Vitamins and our Vitals;
- A guest post from my dear mother on having a child diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease;
- A guest post from three of my best friends on how they have navigated our friendship with my diagnosis; and
- How you can also get involved and educate yourself about the disease!
and maybe more, who knows.
#myibd story continues to unfold and as I keep writing, I realize I have more and more to say. I am just now beginning to process everything I have gone through and am so empowered by all of the people I have met, the relentless research being done, the search for alternatives, as well as the unassuming friends and family members who reach out to say a word about something they have learned.
One thing that keeps sticking in my head is that, I finally feel less alone. I finally feel like I have the resources necessary to educate myself and others, and that is a great feeling. I feel less ashamed when I have to ask for accommodation. I no longer feel like I have some giant skeleton hiding in my closet. I no longer feel like I have to justify every move I make and that being myself is enough. So, thank you all. We are heading in the right direction.
Stay tuned … this week will be a great one!