Marilyn Finkelstein 2019 - Toronto Learn MoreEn savoir plus × Marilyn Finkelstein 2019 - Toronto Marilyn Finkelstein Marilyn and her late husband, Albert, initiated the organization that is now Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, a charity that has raised over $122 million for research into Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis over the past four decades. It all started in the 70s when their sick child, David, was suffering from a painful and debilitating illness that seemed to defy diagnosis – it took three years to finally discover in 1974 that their son had Crohn’s disease. They had never heard of it before, and when they tried to find out more, they were appalled to discover how little was known about Crohn’s and how little research was done. That motivated them to raise money for research. Marilyn started writing letters to parents whose children were also struggling with the disease, inviting them to attend a meeting in their home. Sixty-nine people showed up for the inaugural meeting, many of them agreeing to stay on. The group’s first event was a car raffle that raised $20,000. And so it began. Marilyn and Albert, a lawyer, set up an organizational structure and secured an office with a telephone. They worked hard to help open chapters across the country to raise funds and awareness. Ten years later another son, Gary, was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. Although they were devastated to see him suffer, they were encouraged by the difference in his treatment. He was diagnosed immediately and was offered treatment options. Their efforts were already making a difference. More than 40 years later, Marilyn continues to work tirelessly alongside Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, our volunteers and the community in the effort to find the cures. And she says, “she won’t stop until we end Crohn’s and colitis, once and for all.” In recognition of her contributions, Marilyn received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. For these reasons and many more, we are honoured to recognize Marilyn with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.