Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program

AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program
The national program doubles the number of $5,000 scholarships available to support the academic ambitions of community-minded post-secondary students from across Canada

Toronto, ON – Jan. 26, 2021 – Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is thrilled to announce that 20 students enrolled at a Canadian post-secondary institution for the upcoming fall semester will receive the one-time scholarship in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program. Since 2012, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and AbbVie Canada have annually awarded scholarships valued at $5,000 to 10 inspirational students diligently working to bring their academic goals to fruition and giving back to the community while navigating the challenges that come with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. 

Affecting 270,000 Canadians, the typical age of onset for the chronic autoimmune diseases is adolescence or early adulthood – the critical years for schooling and career growth. When someone develops one of these autoimmune diseases, their body begins to attack healthy tissue in their bowels, resulting in inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract. While each individual case is unique, severe abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, internal bleeding, and the unpredictable and urgent need to use the washroom are the most common symptoms. 

“The disruptive and debilitating nature of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can affect a student’s ability to attend class, participate in extracurricular activities with peers, or work to support tuition and other educational expenses. We are thrilled to have partnered with AbbVie Canada over the past nine years to support a remarkable group of students by alleviating any financial stress through the scholarship program,” says Susan Cowan, CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “We are excited to mark this milestone year by awarding an additional ten scholarships. The resiliency, passion and dedication students with these diseases demonstrate as they pursue their academic and career goals while giving back to the community is inspiring. It’s an honour to help students turn their dreams into reality.”

Since the launch of the program, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and AbbVie Canada have supported the academic journeys of 89 students with each individual allocating funds provided through scholarship towards their tuition, student fees, required educational materials, or on-campus housing.

“We’re proud of our longstanding partnership with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, and we are so pleased that to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this important program, we will double the number of scholarship recipients this year,” said Tracey Ramsay, Vice President and General Manager of AbbVie Canada. “Pursuing a post-secondary degree is challenging enough, and when you have a chronic illness, it can be overwhelming. We hope these scholarships can ease some of the financial hardship, allowing students to concentrate on their studies and pursue their dreams.”

The AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program requires students to complete an online application, provide two letters of personal recommendation, and submit a one-page essay that highlights how they strive towards their academic and career goals while sustaining an optimal level of wellness and inspire others to do the same. An independent selection committee comprised of gastroenterologists, community partners and patient representatives from across the country will select the 20 scholarship recipients after reviewing submitted applications.  

“A tip for students applying for the AbbVie IBD Scholarship – make yourself stand out by describing your passions and motivators that make you want to get out of bed despite all the challenges thrown your way. Share what it means to thrive rather than just survive, and how you make an impact on others,” says Leslie Hernandez, recipient of the 2017 AbbVie IBD Scholarship.

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is accepting applications for the 2021 AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program. The deadline for students to apply is 11:59 pm EDT on June 1, 2021. 

To learn more about eligibility and the application process, please visit

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 children and adults affected by these chronic diseases. We are the country’s largest volunteer-based organization with this mission and are one of the top two health charity funders of Crohn’s and colitis research in the world, investing over $135 million in research to date. 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

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:

Stacey Sheehan
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
416-920-5035 ext. 243

  • 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.

Other Areas of Interest