Spotlight on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis this November

Children and families at the epicenter of an ongoing health crisis

TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada is the world's hotspot for Crohn's and colitis and no one knows why. One in 150 Canadians have Crohn's or colitis – a rate that ranks among the highest worldwide. Even more alarming is the rate in which children are being diagnosed.

Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Month
This November Crohn's and Colitis Canada is raising awareness about the devastating impact these diseases have on health and quality of life, particularly for young people. Since 1995, the incidence of Crohn's disease in children 10 and under has doubled.

Caused by an abnormal response of the body's immune system, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. The diseases can cause lifelong effects, including unrelenting pain, internal bleeding, multiple surgeries and fatigue. Children with ulcerative colitis may fail to develop or grow properly.

"Crohn's and colitis can significantly impact the ability of both children and adults to participate in daily activities. This often limits their success in school and work and increases isolation," explains Mina Mawani, President and CEO, Crohn's and Colitis Canada. "We strive to improve the lives of people affected by these diseases. Crohn's and Colitis Canada's Make it stop. For life. campaign was created to help stop the pain, stop the surgeries, and stop the missed moments."

Caring also comes with challenges
Crohn's and colitis can also take a toll on the caregivers of children with these diseases. Absences from school and work, as well as high costs of care, can cause turmoil in one's emotional and mental health.

According to the Impact of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Report, caregiver costs for parents of children living with Crohn's and colitis totaled $7 million for the estimated 5,900 children living with IBD in Canada in 2012. As the number of children diagnosed grows, and the costs of care, including medications increases, this number has certainly grown in the last three years.

You can help make it stop. For life.
To raise awareness and to end the isolation that many people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis live with, Crohn's and Colitis Canada has developed a series of television, radio and print public service announcements.

The press materials are available for media to download. For easy access, please follow this link.

"These public service announcements chronicle the pain, embarrassment and isolation experienced by children, young adults and others who are living with Crohn's or colitis," adds Mawani. "By shedding light on the severity of the illnesses and the toll it takes physically and mentally, Crohn's and Colitis Canada aims to 'Make it stop. For life.' There is a role each one of us can play in helping stop these diseases."

Through November Crohn's and Colitis Canada is also calling upon all Canadians to get involved:

  • Donate now by making a one-time donation, or signing up for monthly donations at a level that suits you.
  • Spread the word by following Crohn's and Colitis Canada on social media and sharing our posts.
  • Look for our hashtag #MakeitstopForlife across social media through November and add your story.
  • Raise funds by attending local events, or getting involved in your own fundraising event.

Please visit crohnsandcolitis.ca for more information on how to support.

About Crohn's and Colitis Canada
Crohn's and Colitis Canada is the only national, volunteer-based charity focused on finding the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the lives of children and adults affected by these diseases. We are one of the top two health charity funders of Crohn's and colitis research in the world, investing over $94 million in research to date. We are transforming the lives of people affected by Crohn's and colitis (the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease) through research, patient programs, advocacy, and awareness. Our Crohn's & Colitis – Make it stop. For life. Campaign will raise $100 million by 2020 to advance our mission.

SOURCE Crohn's and Colitis Canada

Image with caption: "ULCERATIVE COLITIS STRIKES PEOPLE IN THEIR 20S. HARD. This Public Service Announcement is available to download. (CNW Group/Crohn's and Colitis Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151102_C8929_PHOTO_EN_534289.jpg

Image with caption: "ALMOST HALF OF PEOPLE WITH CROHN’S WILL REQUIRE SURGERY. This Public Service Announcement is available to download. (CNW Group/Crohn's and Colitis Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151102_C8929_PHOTO_EN_534291.jpg

Image with caption: "PAIN ISN’T THE ONLY THING KIDS WITH CROHN’S FEEL. This Public Service Announcement is available to download. (CNW Group/Crohn's and Colitis Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151102_C8929_PHOTO_EN_534293.jpg

For further information: or to arrange an interview with a local representative of Crohn's and Colitis Canada, please contact: Adam Bornstein (adam.bornstein@smithcom.ca), Nic Canning (nic.canning@smithcom.ca) or call 905.505.2540.


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