Darby Sieben: Extending a hand to his community

Darby Sieben

Darby Sieben is many things: entrepreneur, intrapreneur, investor, visionary...and ulcerative colitis patient. Darby’s passion is for innovation and data analytics, but his greatest accomplishment is his management of the teams he’s worked with. In his own words, “It's the team that will determine whether you succeed or fail.”

Darby was born in Saskatchewan but has been calling Calgary home since 1991. It was in 2009 that he was diagnosed with colitis, while his sister lives with Crohn’s disease. As a family, they found support at Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. He shares, “I remember when I was [first] diagnosed, I did not know where to turn. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada helped fill that void and made a scary diagnosis just a little easier to digest.”

Darby highlights the Gutsy Learning Series (GLS) as a source of hope. The Gutsy Learning Series and webinar events provide unparalleled access to Canada's top inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) researchers and healthcare providers. They are special opportunities to connect directly with leaders in the field and strengthen knowledge of Crohn's and colitis across a variety of topics, including medication and emerging treatments, diet and nutrition, symptom and flare management, and more. 

He also identifies Crohn’s and Colitis Connect as another place where he found community and support. Crohn’s and Colitis Connect is an online community that brings together people affected by IBD so they can share their stories and experiences navigating the ups and downs of living with these chronic illnesses. In Darby's own words, “I really appreciate that Crohn’s and Colitis Canada continues to invest in putting tools in the hands of patients, the availability of information from experts and it’s continued support to foster community locally and nationally.”

In terms of supporting Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, Darby has been a donor for almost 10 years and has been raising funds through the annual Gutsy Walk. “Every year, I try to surpass my previous fundraising goal on my Gutsy Walk profile. In Calgary, I volunteer on the day of the event, helping with registration, and I really enjoy seeing all the smiles on people's faces during this event.”

Darby’s drive to help is deeper than fundraising for an annual walk. As the number of patients with IBD is set to rise significantly in the coming years in Canada, with children being one of the key populations affected, he reflects on his philanthropic journey:

“To me, philanthropy is about extending a hand. I am fortunate that over the years, in business, personal, and health matters, people extended a hand [to me] when it was needed….My drive to give back is a way for me to extend my hand through donations of money and time to help others. Ultimately, we are all connected, and philanthropy is a way to strengthen that connection.”

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is grateful for supporters like Darby! 

  • 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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