NHL Hockey Star Fernando Pisani and 24 Kids From Across Canada Raise $20,000 for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease



    EDMONTON, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - The spirit of giving back was as strong as ever
this weekend at the first ever Score for Colitis & Crohn's event, which raised
$20,000 for four gastrointestinal and digestive disease patient organizations
from across the country. The Score for Colitis & Crohn's initiative, which
took place at the West Edmonton Mall's Ice Palace on Saturday, August 29th,
featured Fernando Pisani of the Edmonton Oilers and 24 aspiring young hockey
enthusiasts who were all on hand to help raise funds and awareness about
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the latter of which Pisani was
diagnosed with in 2007.
    "I knew something was wrong with me, but was embarrassed to talk to
someone about it. As time went on I began to feel worse. I was going to the
washroom 20-30 times a day. I could barely leave the house and had lost about
40 pounds when the disease was at its worst," says Pisani. "I knew I needed to
get well and to see a doctor. I finally did and that's when I was diagnosed
with ulcerative colitis and received a biologic medication called Remicade(R).
Within three months I was playing hockey and my life was on track again. I'm
glad I now have the opportunity to reach out to other people suffering from
the disease to let them know that they can lead a normal and active life and
do the things they love."

    
    About Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease
    --------------------------------------------
    
    Over 200,000 Canadians suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)(i),
which includes both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease is
a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive system that may affect any
area of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn's can occur at any age, however, it
most frequently first occurs in young people, and about 10 per cent of newly
diagnosed cases are in children under age 10.(ii)
    Ulcerative colitis affects only the inner layer of the colon or large
intestine and can also occur at any age, but most people are diagnosed before
the age of 30.(i)
    "When Fernando came to see me he was in pretty bad shape. He was fairly
thin and didn't have a lot of energy. He had lost six pints of blood already
and had temporarily developed diabetes," explains Dr. Richard Fedorak,
Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta,
Edmonton, Alberta. "I started Fernando on a biologic treatment, the latest
generation of medications, because it blocks the inflammation and helps to
relieve the pain. It's important for patients to understand that life goes on
after the diagnosis, that there is support available, and there are excellent
treatment options for those suffering from digestive diseases."

    
    Skate, Shoot and Score
    ----------------------
    
    Essay submissions from across Canada were submitted by children between
the ages of 10 and 12, for an opportunity to participate in the Score for
Colitis & Crohn's national contest and for the once in a lifetime chance to
lace up their skates with Fernando Pisani while giving back to their
communities. The contest encouraged children to share their stories about how
ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease has affected their life or why they
wanted to help those suffering from these diseases. Twenty-four lucky winners
were invited to play a friendly game of hockey with their fellow contest
winners and for each goal scored Schering-Plough Canada donated $500
benefiting four patient associations including: Crohn's and Colitis Foundation
of Canada (national and Alberta offices), Canadian Digestive Health
Foundation, Canadian Society of Intestinal Research Gastrointestinal Society,
and MARCH IBD Care Foundation.
    Out of the 24 kids who were flown to Edmonton to participate in this
fun-filled day, four have ulcerative colitis, 11 have Crohn's disease, and
nine have one or more family members suffering from either ulcerative colitis
or Crohn's disease.
    For more information on Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, please
speak with your doctor or visit www.Ihaveoptions.ca.

    
    About Remicade(R)
    -----------------
    
    Remicade(R) is a monoclonal antibody that specifically targets tumour
necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, which has been shown to play a role in ulcerative
colitis, Crohn's disease, pediatric Crohn's disease, fistulising Crohn's
disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis,
and psoriasis. Remicade(R) is the global market leader among anti-TNF-alpha
therapies.
    Currently, Remicade(R) is the only anti-TNF biologic therapy that has
been approved in Canada to induce and maintain remission in patients with
ulcerative colitis. It is also the only anti-TNF biologic available as an
intravenous (IV) administration. Unlike self-administered therapies that
require patients to inject themselves frequently, Remicade(R) is the only
anti-TNF biologic administered directly by caregivers in the clinic or office
setting. Remicade(R) patients may require as few as six treatments per year.

    
    About Schering-Plough Canada
    ----------------------------
    
    Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health
care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations
with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve
lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development
platform to human prescription, animal health and consumer health care
products. Schering-Plough's vision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with the
doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues
around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site
is www.schering-plough.com.

    REMICADE(R) is a registered trademark of Centocor Inc. and is distributed
in Canada under license by Schering Canada Inc. Schering Canada Inc. and
Schering-Plough Corporation are registered trademarks of Schering Canada Inc.

    References:

    
    ---------------------------------------
    (i)  Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada. Home Page. Available at:
         http://www.ccfc.ca/English/info/ibd.html. Accessed on May 13, 2009.
    (ii) Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Crohn's Disease.
         Available at: http://www.badgut.com/index.php?contentFile
         =crohns&title=Crohn's%20Disease#
         what_is_it. Accessed on May 13, 2009.


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at
    http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the
    media/
    




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview in advance please
contact: Mona Aubin, Schering-Plough Canada, (514) 428-8833/(514) 730-4737,
Mona.Aubin@spcorp.com; Vesna Krklinski, Six Degrees Medical Consulting, (416)
643-8621/(416) 388-4893, VKrklinski@sixdegreesmed.com; Kendal Lo, Six Degrees
Medical Consulting, (416) 643-8603/(647) 298-7154, KLo@sixdegreesmed.com

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