Crohn's and Colitis Canada selects 10 outstanding students to receive the 2019 AbbVie IBD Scholarship

Meet the 2019 AbbVie IBD Scholarship Recipients
TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2019 - Crohn's and Colitis Canada has awarded 10 scholarships to post-secondary students living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis through the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program. These students, who attend universities across the country, are all leaders in their communities, taking the initiative to advocate for diverse causes and create sustainable solutions that will positively impact their peers. This is the eighth year of awarding scholarships.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). When someone develops one of these autoimmune diseases, their body begins to attack healthy tissue in their bowels, resulting in inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract. While each individual case is unique, severe abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, internal bleeding, and the unpredictable and urgent need to use the washroom are the most common symptoms.
“Living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can be incredibly disruptive and stressful. Every AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipient has worked hard to excel academically and contribute to their community while overcoming the daily challenges caused by these invisible diseases,” said Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is honoured to be able to support students, celebrate their achievements, and enable them to realize their full potential. The enthusiasm of patient-focused partners like AbbVie is indispensable as we continue to offer programs like the AbbVie IBD Scholarship that lift up our community.”
Canada has one of the highest rates of IBD. There are currently 270,000 Canadians living with Crohn’s or colitis, a number expected to rise to 400,000 by 2030. Diagnoses of Crohn’s disease typically occur between the ages of 15 to 30, and diagnoses of ulcerative colitis between the ages of 15 and 45.
“Pursuing post-secondary education is an important milestone but can be especially challenging for someone living with a chronic disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis,” said Stéphane Lassignardie, General Manager of AbbVie Canada. “We’re proud of our longstanding partnership with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada on the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program. By supporting this worthy initiative, we hope to empower Canadian students with IBD so they can focus on their studies and live their lives to the fullest.”
Since 2012, the AbbVie IBD Scholarship has helped 78 students living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. To date, the program has contributed $390,000 in scholarships worth up to $5,000 for recipients enrolled in a post-secondary institution who achieve academic excellence and exemplify community leadership in the face of their illness.
Crohn's and Colitis Canada congratulates the 2019 AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipients:
  • Peter Dobranowski – University of Ottawa
  • Rachel Szwimer – McGill University
  • Kwestan Safari – Simon Fraser University
  • Jason Isaacs – Dalhousie University
  • James Sousa – University of British Columbia
  • Daniel Stuart – University of Calgary
  • Brian Pentz – University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Aric Rankin – McMaster University
  • Theresa Engel-Wood – University of Calgary
  • Taylor Stocks – Memorial University of Newfoundland
To learn more about the AbbVie IBD Scholarship program and this year’s recipients, please visit
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 everyone impacted by these diseases. We are the world’s second largest health charity funder of Crohn’s and colitis research, and our patient programs and advocacy efforts support the people affected by these chronic autoimmune diseases, which cause the body to attack healthy tissue, leading to the inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract. Visit for more information.
About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at and Follow @abbviecanada and @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
SOURCE Crohn's and Colitis Canada

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Stacey Sheehan, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Crohn's and Colitis Canada, 416-920-5035 ext. 243,

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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