Ten scholarships of up to $5,000 now available, up from seven last year
TORONTO, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Crohn's and Colitis Canada and AbbVie are providing funding for more students living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis through an increased number of AbbVie IBD scholarships. There are now ten (10) one-time scholarships of up to $5,000 CAN available (up from 7 in 2013) to meet the increasing need for support of Canadian students living with these chronic diseases. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are two Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) which cause intestinal tissue to become inflamed and ulcerated. People living with these diseases suffer from symptoms including abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue and diarrhea that is often urgent and unexpected. There is no known cause or cure.
Now in its third year, the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program awards students who are living well with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and who strive to sustain an optimal level of wellness, allowing them to excel and inspire other young people to do the same. Supported by an educational grant from AbbVie, and made available through Crohn's and Colitis Canada, the scholarships are available to students of any age, living with Crohn's or colitis who are entering into or currently attending a Canadian post-secondary educational institution in 2014.
"In one of Crohn's and Colitis Canada's recent surveys, we learned that 69 per cent of people who had Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis when they were young were delayed in completing their post-secondary education as a result of their disease," said Aida Fernandes, Chief Science & Education Officer, Crohn's and Colitis Canada. "There's a growing need for support for young people living with chronic diseases, and the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program is just one way that we are helping to ensure that these students can live up to their full potential."
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are most frequently diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 30, with the typical onset being in the early 20s, when students are entering into or pursuing post-secondary education. Alarmingly, the number of new cases of Crohn's disease in Canadian children has almost doubled since 1995.
"When you're dealing with the burden of a chronic disease, it is a huge relief to have another burden lifted off your shoulders – like paying for university," said Kevin Ram, second year Biology student, University of Victoria, BC, 2013 AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipient. "I am so thankful to Crohn's and Colitis Canada and AbbVie for not only supporting my education, but also for bringing attention to these diseases that can be a barrier to education for so many young people."
Kevin Ram is not alone in his experience. Eighty-nine per cent of people who had Crohn's or colitis as children feel they could have achieved more at school if they did not have the disease.*
"One of our goals at AbbVie is to raise awareness of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and to help provide better care for people living with these chronic diseases," said Felipe Pastrana, General Manager of AbbVie Canada. "We're proud to partner with Crohn's and Colitis Canada on the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program. Together, we can further our commitment to helping Canadians understand the impact of these diseases and make a significant difference in their lives."
Canadians also have more reasons to be concerned about Crohn's disease than anyone else in the world. Canada has one of the highest rates of Crohn's disease worldwide with an estimated 130,000 Canadians living with the disease.
Crohn's and Colitis Canada is accepting applications for the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program until 5pm EST on June 30th, 2014. To apply or learn more, please visit www.ibdscholarship.ca.
* The Impact of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Canada 2012 Final Report and Recommendations
About Crohn's and Colitis Canada
Crohn's and Colitis Canada is a volunteer-based charity dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and to improving the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases. As Canada's leading non-governmental funder of Crohn's and colitis research, we have invested over $82 million to foster advances in research, education, awareness and advocacy to date. By working together we can help advance the understanding of these diseases and fund the programs that result in more treatment options and, ultimately, cures.
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs approximately 25,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
SOURCE: Crohn's and Colitis Canada
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