Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Awards 15 Post-Secondary Students a $5,000 Scholarship Through the 2022 AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program

Abbvie Scholarship applicant

Inaugural scholarship launched in memory of early grant recipient, Clinton Shard

TORONTO, September 21, 2022 – Crohn’s and Colitis Canada awarded 15 post-secondary students each with a $5,000 AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program grant. One deserving recipient has also been awarded the Clinton Shard Memorial grant. Clinton was an inaugural grant recipient in 2012 who made significant contributions to the IBD community and those around him, and peacefully passed away in 2022. This will become an annual grant. 

“Back-to-school can look a little different when you are immunocompromised, especially after the past two plus years, and we’re thrilled to help offset costs for these truly inspiring students,” said Lori Radke, President and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “We are committed to supporting the growing number of Canadians living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, whether through grants, research or other forms of action.”

“At AbbVie, we strive to empower Canadians with IBD to live their life to the fullest, which is why we are so proud to partner with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada on this meaningful program,” said Tracey Ramsay, Vice President and General Manager of AbbVie Canada. “Too many students living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis must delay post-secondary education because of their disease.  We are pleased these scholarships will play a role to support the pursuit of advanced academic studies for students living with IBD so that they too can live their best lives.” 

“Clinton was a bright light in the lives of everyone he touched, and honouring his legacy of positivity, perseverance and giving back through this annual grant allows Clinton’s memory to continue to inspire others,” said Wendy Shard, Clinton’s mother. “We’ve seen firsthand the challenges of living with a chronic, immune compromising disease; this is an opportunity to support someone else’s journey.” 

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and AbbVie Canada congratulate the recipients of the 2022 AbbVie IBD Scholarship:

The Prevalence of Crohn’s and Colitis in Canada

Canada has one of the highest incidence rates of inflammatory bowel disease in the world – the main forms of IBD being Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Affecting one in 140 (300,000) Canadians, Crohn’s and colitis are growing across Canada. Researchers estimate that the number of people impacted will rise to 400,000 Canadians by 2030. These chronic diseases can be diagnosed at any age, but the typical age of onset is early adulthood, typically between age 20-29 – a time when young adults are pursuing post-secondary education and taking the first step into their career. Crohn’s and colitis cause the body to attack healthy tissue in the bowels, which causes inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The most common symptoms include severe abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, internal bleeding, and the unpredictable and urgent need to use the washroom. 

More about the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada partnered with AbbVie Canada in 2012 to launch the national AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program to support students in achieving their academic goals while they make a lasting and meaningful difference in their communities. 

Since its inception, the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program has awarded 124 grants to deserving post-secondary students. This money helps immunocompromised students spend more time on their studies, pursue their passions and get involved with causes close to their hearts, since the disruptive and debilitating nature of the diseases affects one’s ability to attend class or work to support tuition and other educational expenses. 
The Inaugural Grant in Memory of Clinton Shard 

Clinton Shard was an inaugural recipient of the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program in 2012, a giver in every sense of the word, a true lover of nature and the outdoors, and never let his disease define him. But above all else, he was a beacon of positivity and inspiration. Diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 12, Clinton lived every day with the mindset that an IBD diagnosis should not stop anyone from achieving their goals. Not only has Clinton been an important member of the Canadian Crohn’s and colitis community, given back and supported others, but he also celebrated several great achievements, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at age 16 and joining an expedition to Everest Base Camp in Nepal the subsequent year. His final act of selflessness and inspiration was to begin the process of setting up a grant in his memory to alleviate stress for others along their journeys with IBD. This came to fruition through the Clinton Shard Memorial AbbVie IBD Scholarship, which will be an annual grant of $5,000 to one Canadian post-secondary student. 

To learn more about the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program and the recipients, please visit

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About Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is on a relentless journey to find the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improve the lives of everyone affected by these chronic diseases. Collectively with the support of volunteers, researchers, donors and the community, we are transforming the lives of people affected by Crohn’s and colitis through research, patient programs, advocacy, and awareness. For more information, visit and follow us @getgutsycanada on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

About AbbVie Canada

We’re a company that takes on the toughest health challenges.

AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at and Follow @abbviecanada on Twitter or find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Angie Specic
VP, Marketing and Communications
Tel. (416) 388-1123

  • 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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