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Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis meetup

I am trying something new this year. And it’s something that I would love for you to be a part of, as well. You see, I think there’s something missing in the IBD community in a lot of places, including here in North Carolina. And that’s a place where you can meet other young professional and college-age IBDers in your area face-to-face. Yes, there are support groups and those are great, but I don’t know of any place where you can just meet others and building relationships with other people who are going through some of the same thing you are. And yes, there are also many online groups, which I definitely love being a part of and have made a huge difference in my life, but there is something to be said about meeting others in person. So I am hoping to find that place around here.

I have started a Meetup in the Raleigh-Durham area. Like I said, my point is to build a community, not necessarily a support group, but somewhere you can hang out, talk about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (or not, it’s up to you) and make some new friends.

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I envision this first meeting being a “grab coffee and get to know you” kind of thing, but perhaps ones in the future will revolve around certain activities. The great thing is, since this is starting from the ground up, we can all figure that out together and do whatever we want!

So please, if you are in the area or if you know of anyone in this area, I’d love to have you/them join us! I think it will be a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to getting to meet some new faces. Here is a link to the Meetup where you can RSVP and post any comments you would like. I’m definitely open to any suggestions and ideas. I hope to see you there!

Support groups suck

…or so I thought.

I mean, honestly, the idea of attending a “support group” just sounds, well, not fun.

Attending a Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis support group never really crossed my mind as I was growing up, but when I knew that I was going to move forward with the surgery to get an ileostomy, I felt the need to find other people who had been through the same thing. Dealing with health issues can feel very lonely. I lived with everything that comes along with Crohn’s disease for a long time all by myself. I think I sort of got used to the loneliness. But when I knew I was going to have an ostomy, I really felt that loneliness again and wanted to find someone to talk to about it.

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So I decided to try out the local ostomy support group. My husband and I went to a group that was meeting just a few days before my surgery. I’m not going to lie, we walked in and saw only people over the age of 65 and we got a little nervous. At first I think we hoped we were in the wrong place, but just stood in the back for a minute contemplating leaving. But then a girl about my age came up to us and introduced herself. She had gotten an ileostomy the year prior, also due to Crohn’s disease. At that point, I felt so much better. Even being in a room where I was one of the few even from my generation, knowing there was someone else there who could understand and was going through some very similar things, made me feel comfortable.
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