Crohn's and Colitis Canada Selects 10 AbbVie IBD Scholarship Recipients

TORONTO, ON - Aug. 14, 2018 - Crohn's and Colitis Canada has awarded 10 scholarships to post-secondary students through the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program. The students, hailing from universities across the country, all strive to sustain an optimal level of wellness while living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and inspire others to do the same.

Canada has one of the highest rates of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the world as nearly a quarter of a million people live with either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which are the two main forms of IBD. The autoimmune diseases cause the body to attack healthy tissue, leading to inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract. Common symptoms include severe abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, internal bleeding, and the unpredictable and urgent need to use the washroom. 

"People are often diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in their late teens or early 20s, which can make the already challenging task of completing post-secondary education all the more stressful," said Mina Mawani, President and CEO, Crohn's and Colitis Canada. “Our scholarship recipients demonstrate their strength and resilience in overcoming these challenges on a daily basis. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is delighted to support our recipients and proud that they continue to support others living with these chronic diseases by being actively involved in their communities, all while striving towards their academic goals.”

Since 2012, the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program has supported nearly 70 Canadian students in navigating post-secondary education while living with Crohn's or colitis by awarding scholarships that total in excess of $345,000. Scholarships of up to $5,000 are contributed towards each student’s tuition.

“We are very proud of the impact that this longstanding program is having on the lives of post-secondary students,” says Stéphane Lassignardie, General Manager of AbbVie Canada. “Attending school while dealing with the stress of managing Crohn’s or colitis is a real challenge and it is critical to support and encourage these students.”

Crohn's and Colitis Canada congratulates the following 2018 AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipients:

• Naji Balche – Western University
• Kristin Bridges – Queen’s University
• Ashley Clark – University of Victoria
• Sarah Jane Downton – Acadia University
• Emma Moore – University of Prince Edward Island
• Anonymous – University of British Columbia
• Kayleigh Pink – University of Ottawa
• Evan Rootenberg – Ryerson University 
• Natalie Sousa – University of British Columbia
• Claudia Tersigni – University of Toronto

To learn more about the 2018 AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipients, please visit

About Crohn's and Colitis Canada
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is on a relentless journey to find 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 one of the top two health charity funders of Crohn’s and colitis research in the world, investing over $115 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, please visit and follow us @getgutsycanada on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world's most complex and critical conditions. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at or follow us on Twitter at @abbviecanada

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Derek Holota 
Smithcom Ltd.

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.

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