Celebrating our volunteers: Marion Organ’s story

Marion Organ
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.

Marion Organ has volunteered with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada since 2015. As a parent of a child living with Crohn’s disease, the organization’s mission is very close to her heart. Marion is a proud and well-spoken advocate that diligently works to raise awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in her community. Eager to help other parents whose children have been newly diagnosed, Marion always offers to lend a listening ear and shares her experiences. 

As Chair of the Eastern Avalon Gutsy Walk, Marion is dedicated to making the event a great success as she eagerly rallies members of the community together to build momentum on the past year’s walk. From leading meetings to brainstorming creative ways to attract new participants with fellow committee members, Marion’s passion for making an impact is clear. Her strong organizational skills and excellent attention to detail helps set the event up for success every year.

Why did you decide to start volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada? 
“In 2015, my son, Caleb, was diagnosed with Crohn's. It was a scary time for our family, and he had been sick for quite some time before he was diagnosed. As a parent, watching your child become so ill, you feel so helpless and alone. 

That June we went to our first Gutsy Walk, and we found such a strong and vibrant community of those that were diagnosed and their families. The positive attitude and the belief in what they could accomplish inspired me, and I knew I wanted to be part of it. Making a contribution to improving the lives of patients and their families, and supporting to finding a cure, gives me a purpose. Crohn's and Colitis Canada has done so much to help our family from the educational resources they provide to amazing experiences like Camp Got2Go, and it means the world to me that I am able to help make those programs possible.” 

What is your favourite part about volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada? 
“By far, being at Gutsy Walk is my favorite part of being a volunteer! There is so much effort that goes into planning and organizing Gutsy Walk that it is amazing to see it all come together and see how much people give of their time and resources. To see everyone's families there to support them is incredible, but the most meaningful part to me, as a parent of a teenager living with Crohn's, is to see all of the young people there with their friends and peers as supporters as well. It is a privilege to be part of something that raises funds, but also lifts the stigma around the disease.”

To all our volunteers—thank you for your hard work and dedication! Stay tuned for more volunteer spotlights coming up this week. In the meantime, you can read the stories of the other volunteers we interviewed 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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