Celebrating our volunteers: Julie Cyr’s story

Julie Cyr
This week is all about our volunteers! From British Columbia to Newfoundland, these are the people at the very heart of our organization who enable us to make advancements in Crohn’s and colitis research and awareness. For this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Week, we want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve by shining a spotlight on their work.

Julie Cyr–a true leader in every sense of the word–has been volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada since 2015. Inspired by her own journey with Crohn’s disease, Julie first joined the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada family as a volunteer with the GoHere Washroom Access Program. As an active voice in her community, Julie diligently works to create awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, all while encouraging local businesses to make their washrooms accessible to those in need. 

From advocate to event planner, Julie is always ready to make an impact in her community by taking on new responsibilities. Shortly after signing on as a GoHere volunteer, Julie jumped on the opportunity to organize a Gutsy Walk to help bring everyone together in support of one goal: finding cures. Her positive spirit and can-do attitude has led to many successful walks since she first took on the responsibility, and the success of future walks looks even brighter!

Why did you start volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada?
"I decided to volunteer because I had been dealing with Crohn’s disease since 2001. Initially, I started out as a volunteer with the GoHere program, which is such an amazing initiative. A quick Google search after seeing a GoHere ad brought me to where I am today!

In June 2015, I started organizing the Gutsy Walk in my region after Amanda, the Maritime District Coordinator, reached out to me about the opportunity."

What is your favourite part about organizing the Gutsy Walk?
"My favourite part is definitely the adrenaline that you feel on the day of the event! Before I never had the support of a committee to organize the whole event; instead, I was doing it on my own with the support of volunteers on the day of the Gutsy Walk. A few of my good friends put up posters and gathered prizes, but I was on my own most of the time. I built great relationships with sponsors, and grew close to people affected by the diseases in a way that makes you feel whole. It is not always about fundraising money... it is much more than that."

To all our volunteers—thank you for your hard work and dedication! And to all our readers—thank you for staying with us as we featured our volunteers this week. You can read about everyone we featured here.

  • 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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