Celebrating our volunteers: Peter Dobranowski’s story

Peter Dobranowski
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.

Peter Dobranowski has been an active member of the Fraser Valley West Chapter since he began volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada six years ago. He has led countless insightful education sessions and chapter meetings that continue to grow in size as Peter’s welcoming, compassionate and enthusiastic nature makes everyone attending these events feel right at home. He continuously reaches out to members of the community to not only raise awareness and fundraise, but also to encourage people affected by Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis to join the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada family.

Peter’s commitment to supporting the journey of other people affected by these diseases also inspired him to host monthly presentations to ensure members of the community stay up-to-date on the latest findings stemming from renowned Canadian researchers. 

Determined to inspire others, Peter openly shares his story during speaking events to encourage those living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to continue striving towards fulfilling their dreams and achieving their goals, despite any obstacles that may come their way. In fact, amongst Peter’s many accomplishments, a particular highlight has been his collaboration with a team of passionate individuals to host a conference aimed at empowering youth living with IBD. During the event, he acted as a mentor, providing advice and tips to navigate the challenges they may face as they navigate their journey. 

Why did you first become involved with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada?
“At the time, I did not know anyone else living with Crohn’s or colitis, so I was looking for a way to connect with other people living with IBD. The Fraser Valley West Chapter needed volunteers for the Gutsy Walk that year, so I lent a hand—and next thing I knew, they elected me president! Since then, it has snowballed to become a huge part of my life.” 

What is your favourite part about volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada?
“Over the years, our post-Gutsy Walk debriefings turned into annual dinner parties, hosted by Krista–our culinary-gifted Gutsy Walk Chair. She could turn IBD-friendly foods into masterpieces. I have had too many great experiences to count while volunteering, but those parties (and the leftovers!) sit high on my list.”

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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