IBD Awareness Week in retrospect

We just wrapped up another Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness Week yesterday. There are a number of different awareness days throughout the year for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and ostomies, but this past week is the official one that actually passed as a resolution in the U.S. Senate a couple of years back. And I have to say, I think the 2013 IBD Awareness Week was the strongest yet.

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I try to keep my finger on the pulse of the online IBD community and to be aware of what people are saying and what sorts of events are going on at any given time. I was really encouraged this week to see so many people speaking out, telling their stories, hosting events, changing their profile pictures in honor of spreading awareness. I mentioned a few weeks ago that activists were really coming together and I think we saw a lot of this in the past week.

There was a special edition of the IBD Round Table held in honor of the week. A fellow ostomate was featured on an episode of Tosh.0 (not specifically for Awareness Week, but it was good timing!) And I have been overwhelmed by the response received by the Huffington Post article that Rebecca Kaplan and I wrote about some of the other things that come along with IBD other than using the bathroom. Seriously, this week had some awesome awareness being done!

Being inducted into the inflammatory bowel disease club isn’t something I would wish on anybody. But since I am a part of it, I have to say that I have never been more proud to belong to this community of people. You all amaze and inspire me every day. You remind me why I started The Stolen Colon last year and what I hope to be able to accomplish with it in the future. 

But what I hope most of all is to see IBD Awareness Week continue. And I realize that keeping going at the same pace that we have over the past week isn’t plausible day after day, week after week (advocacy can take a lot out of you!), but we can continue to keep the passion alive and continue to speak out about it. I look forward to many more acts of advocacy with all of you as we continue to spread awareness and push for a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Sit down, stay a while. I'd love to hear from you.