Celebrating our volunteers: Shannon Epstein’s story

Shannon Epstein
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.

If you had to describe Shannon Epstein in one word, it would be “go-getter”. Since she began volunteering with us back in 2013, she has made, and continues to make, her mark on the Montreal community in many ways, including acting as Founder and President of Generation C.

Shannon started Generation C to capture the voice, ideas and needs of young Canadians affected by Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. While the group focuses on raising awareness and funds through fun events, Generation C also serves as an informal support group as members lean on each other during times when they might need a little bit of extra support.

While staying connected to our national and regional offices, Shannon motivates and leads a committee of 30 enthusiastic volunteers to bring to life fundraising events focused on engaging other young adults living in Montreal and the surrounding area. Among the many events on Generation C’s calendar, a particular highlight is the annual two-day ball hockey tournament, Slashing Crohn’s and Colitis.

Shannon’s passion for making a difference, entrepreneurial mindset and energetic spark inspires those residing in the Montreal area and beyond. 

Why did you decide to start Generation C? 
“When I started volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, the events in the Montreal area were geared more towards people who were either much older or much younger than me. I felt there was a bit of a gap in events specifically focused on the young adult and young professional demographic, which presented a great opportunity to start Generation C.”

What is your favourite part about volunteering with Generation C?
“I LOVE interacting with everyone, both volunteers and participants, at our events. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet so many new people! I have made close friends and expanded my professional network all while contributing to such an important cause.”

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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